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Number of 'Zero-TV' Households Reaches 5 Million in US

by Lenna Garibian  |  
March 15, 2013
  |  1,528 views

About 95% of Americans watch TV using traditional cable or satellite options, whereas the other 5%—the so-called "Zero-TV" viewers—are bucking tradition (because of cost or lack of interest) in favor of nontraditional devices and services, according to a report by Nielsen.

Moreover, the number of Zero-TV households in the US grew to more than 5 million in 2013, up from just over 2 million in 2007.

Below, additional findings from Nielsen's Fourth-Quarter 2012 Cross-Platform Report.

Though most (75%) Zero-TV households still own at least one TV, they tend to use those sets to watch DVDs, play games, or browse the Internet.

New Viewing Devices


When viewing video content, more than two-thirds (67%) of Zero-TV households use non-traditional devices, such as computers (37%), the Internet via TV (16%), smartphones (8%), and tablets (6%):

Cost (36%) and lack of interest (31%) are the main reasons Americans are opting out of pay-television services.


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Lenna Garibian is a MarketingProfs research writer and a marketing consultant in the tech industry, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. She's held marketing and research positions at eRPortal Software, GAP Inc., Stanford University, and the IMF. Reach Lenna via Twitter @LennaAnahid and LinkedIn.

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