Americans Are Watching Less Television, More Online Video; No, Piracy Is Not Making A Comeback

A national study of over 100,000 Americans across the country from varying geographic areas and sociological demographics showed that people are watching less television. The reasons for this are obvious: people do not appreciate the content and social and political agendas being crammed into every television show. Ratings are at an all-time low for television, and television producers and movie studios are starting to become gravely concerned.

2019 study shows that Americans are watching much less TV

The study showed that 72% of Americans either watch considerably less television, or have decided to completely stop watching TV altogether. 68% of users said they would completely stop watching a television show if offensive content came on, and most also said they would stop watching even their favorite show. Out of the 72% who watch less or have stopped watching TV altogether, 38% used to be television addicts, but the undesirable content even in their favorite shows helped them break their television addiction once and for all.

53% felt that unwanted television agendas have caused “significant anxiety and/or negative impact on your life”. 23% said they have decided never to watch television anymore, instead opting for other means of entertainment including “family board games”, “hanging out with friends”, or “watching funny videos on youtube”. 68% said that they watch “50% or less TV” than they did 10 years ago, because they were “concerned about their mental health”.

92% of parents said they are concerned about what their children are watching on cartoons today. Top reasons for this included adult themes and adult language, including cursing. 81% of parents said that they felt that allowing their children to watch today’s cartoons unattended “could have a significant negative impact on their development”. 77% of parents said that they would not let their children watch any cartoons within the last 10 years. 42% of parents said that today’s cartoons are “too violent” for their children to watch. 41% of parents believed that watching cartoons “noticeably altered their children’s behavior undesirably”.

Americans are tired of the political agenda in TV and movies

Fortunately, Hollywood seems to be starting to realize this, as several new movies in the past year were released without any political or socially manipulative agenda. The newest Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018) comes to mind, which was surprisingly free from unwanted political agendas. It almost felt like watching a movie from the 90’s era again, back when you didn’t have to constantly be on your guard, fearing the next image to pop up on your screen to be overtly offensive forcing you to avert your eyes or turn off the TV.

Unfortunately, the problem is still more widespread than ever, and television is getting the worst of it; but movies are not at all exempt. Even die-hard television fans and movie buffs have completely abandoned television as a result of this agenda. Many people are concerned about their life and mind being considerably impacted by the negative and offensive images. Even parents are concerned about today’s cartoons. As a result, Americans are finally watching less television – but not less online video.

Online video is on the rise

While people are watching less television, people are simultaneously watching more online video than ever before. Of the study participants in the first study, 87% of people who said they watch less TV or who have stopped watching TV said that they watch “considerably more” online video through youtube. A small percentage also said they watch more online video from a variety of websites that are not youtube as well.

In 2018, 1.8 billion people around the world were logged into youtube each month. This does not account for how many watchers are not logged in or do not have an account, and is up from 1.5 billion per month in 2017. 180.1 million come from the USA, and the rest come from 89 other countries. In 2016, users watched 46,000 years worth of content. This has increased considerably since then. In 2017, 70% of youtube traffic was from mobile devices. Youtube’s Consumer Insights in a Nielsen study predicted that by 2025, up to 50% of users under 32 will not pay for a TV service. This is probably a vast underestimate but still interesting.

Online video is continuing to grow. Moreover, as internet speeds continue to increase around the world, and even in America (at last) where U.S internet speeds rose by 40% in 2018, online streaming is becoming more and more popular. Additionally, with the increasing availability of fast internet and high available of online video content, online video is continuing to become a viable replacement for television.

The Wall Street Journal said that over a million people canceled their television subscriptions in the last few months of 2018, which was “one of the largest television drops ever”. Not only are people getting sick of television content, but cord-cutting is at the highest rate ever in 2018 according to Fortune, and the high cost of pay-per-view services is one of the main reasons for this according to TiVo’s Online Video and Pay-TV Trends Report.

The nonsense of a recent piracy study

A recent study claimed that “piracy is making a comeback”, but the claims are total nonsense. Not only are they unsubstantiated, but the only actual numbers given were that some obscure ISP in Africa saw a 2% increase in bittorrent traffic. What really occurred was that these networks are looking for a way to explain to their investors why millions of people have stopped watching Game of Thrones, which was mentioned in the study, so they are telling their investors, “actually millions are still watching it, they are just pirating it”. In reality, it is a complete and total fabrication. Previous studies have showed that the same percentage of people are either subscribed to a paid service or download the shows over bittorrent. Bittorrent users always make up a very small fraction of the population.

However, these massive shows with massive budgets need a way to explain why they keep losing millions of viewers every time they make a show more and more offensive and people stop watching in disgust. So, they hire some biased paid survey company to make up a BS survey which says that people are pirating more, and that’s the “real” reason why the show ratings are down and the users are down. Anything to appease the investors and keep their insane multimillion-dollar budgets for shows that people are sick of. You still hear the hype from mass marketing, but you rarely hear real people actually talking about watching it, because almost no one really is.

Moreover, it is impossible to accurately gauge the number of people who pirate content, especially considering that more pirates are using VPNs than ever before and are more privacy conscious than ever. While you can gauge to some extent the amount of traffic that is used over bittorrent, in reality this is highly misleading and inaccurate. Most bittorrent traffic is untraceable, as it goes through VPNs or the dark web (which makes up over 90% of the entire internet). In this case, none of this traffic is traceable to the source. ISPs are simply not sophisticated enough to circumvent basic privacy measures used by most pirates. A simple variation in the small number of users who accidentally forget to turn on their VPN when torrenting will give a false result such as an “increase in bitorrent traffic” even though in reality the cumulative amount could have stayed the same or eve decreased.

Overall, the net is so complex and privacy measures so effective that it is impossible to accurately gauge the source of traffic, not to mention the legal concerns of ISPs snooping on individual users’ behavior en-masse, which simply does not and cannot occur, even solely due to the massive logistical concerns regarding the difficultly in tracing and measuring the sources of all this information. Not only that, but for a private study to have access to this information is ridiculous. Most likely, they completely made up these numbers, except for obscure countries in Africa like displayed in the study, which have less privacy measures with regards to tracking their users.

Instead, what the study did besides looking at arbitrary traffic numbers from small obscure foreign countries, was they measured how many people canceled their streaming accounts like Netflix or Hulu, or who canceled their television subscriptions. Unfortunately, the conclusion is false, because based on the study above, it is obvious that the reason people are canceling their subscriptions is because they are fed up with offensive images and disgusting content being crammed into all their shows, as well as being concerned for their own mental wellbeing and the wellbeing of their children. It isn’t because people are turning to piracy, it is because people are watching less television entirely. People are finally getting sick of TV and the disturbing agendas on their TV screens.

Furthermore, piracy will always be a marginal percentage of the population. The majority of people would rather pay a small monthly fee for a subscription rather than risk being caught as a pirate. The pirates who will be pirates anyway, on the other hand, usually use VPNs and are therefore untraceable. The study claiming piracy on the rise mentioned a pretty good reason, but unfortunately their conclusion is false because their premise is false. They said that they thought it was caused by “fragmented streaming services”, such as certain TV shows that are exclusive to Netflix or Amazon, but the truth is that people don’t have time to watch that many television shows.

If people have one subscription, they are not going to pirate others, simply because there isn’t enough time to watch every show. With the cost of living higher than ever before in history, especially in major cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Boston, more families are having both parents working than ever before. People won’t feel like they are “missing out”, especially because people are already fearful of what is in the majority of new content anyway. Moreover, they simply don’t have the time for it all.

People still want their TV centerpiece

Physical televisions are not going anywhere, though. While people are ditching television and movies, online video is increasing. And with the cost of high-end televisions lower than ever, more people that have craved a bigger TV for the living room can finally afford one. Moreover, with the recent popularity of 4K TV, commbined with lower costs, the traditional corded TV will not be going anywhere anytime soon – unless they finally release wireless electricity, which we have been waiting for for years now.

Many people will continue to use their television screen primarily for video games, and many people are using it as a computer monitor or as an additional computer monitor to watch youtube and video streaming services. After all, who doesn’t watch a giant 70 inch TV as their living room centerpiece? Even if they don’t use it for movies or television, people will find a use for it one way or another.

Overall, television viewers and movie watchers are decreasing, but online video is still on the rise. While online subscriptions like Netflix and Amazon are slowing, youtube is skyrocketing. People seem to really enjoy the more human, down to earth television, and the absence of the political agenda. Perhaps people also enjoy the freedom to skip around on videos and carefully choose their content, so that they are not forced to watch unwanted content and infused political agendas like in traditional television and movies. Piracy, however, is no different than ever before, but with the huge increase in online video and dramatically faster internet speeds, people might finally have another use for that giant flat screen TV that’s been sitting dormant in the living room.

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