“Reaching the ‘Un-Reachable’” Explores and Debunks 5 Myths About Those Who Watch Little to No Linear Television


NEW YORK – January 25, 2019 – Cable and satellite viewership is eroding because it is perceived as a poor value exchange according to a new study from MAGNA, the intelligence, investment and innovation unit within IPG Mediabrands and IPG Media Lab, the media futures and advisory arm of IPG Mediabrands. “Reaching the ‘Un-Reachable” debunks five commonly-held myths about those who watch little to no television, including which demographics are veering away from traditional television and why.

While the shift away from linear television has been well documented, a number of misperceptions have persisted about the characteristics of this elusive – and growing – group. Some of the myths explored in the story include:

  • Myth #1: “Watching television” is broadcast or cable on a television set.
  • The truth: Television is no longer a device. Instead, consumers broadly define “watching TV” to refer to video content viewed on any device, including computers and phones.
  • Myth #2: Those shifting away from linear TV are mostly young with little purchasing power.
  • The truth: In fact, light linear TV viewers have the highest proportion of affluence (incomes of over $100,000/per annum) and over 40% of them are Gen X or older
  • Myth #3: Consumers are simply opting out of traditional TV subscriptions because it’s “too expensive.”
  • The truth: On the surface, this would appear to be accurate but dig a little deeper and it is revealed to be inaccurate. Even among affluent consumers for whom the cost of a cable or satellite subscription represents a minute fraction of their disposable income, cost is cited as an issue. This actually communicates that it’s not an issue of affordability, but rather a poor value exchange driving the opt-out trend.

“Linear TV may be declining but video consumption is as strong as ever,” said David Cohen, President, North America, MAGNA. “There are no ‘unreachables’…rather there are device-agnostic streamers with deep pockets who watch just as much video as linear TV viewers and are receptive to relevant, targeted video ads. This segment is growing and it’s crucial for marketers to gain traction with them.”

Read the full Report



MAGNA is the centralized IPG Mediabrands resource that develops intelligence, investment and innovation strategies for agency teams and clients. We utilize our insights, forecasts and strategic relationships to provide clients with a competitive marketplace advantage.

MAGNA harnesses the aggregate power of all IPG media investments to create leverage in the market, negotiate preferred pricing and secure premium inventory to drive maximum value for our clients. The MAGNA Investment and Innovation teams architect go-to-market investment strategies across all channels including linear television, print, digital and programmatic on behalf of IPG clients. The team focuses on the use of emerging media opportunities, as well as data and technology-enabled solutions to drive optimal client performance and business results.

MAGNA Intelligence has set the industry standard for more than 60 years by predicting the future of media value. The MAGNA Intelligence team produces more than 40 annual reports on audience trends, media spend and market demand as well as ad effectiveness.

About IPG Media Lab

Part of the Interpublic network, the IPG Media Lab identifies and researches innovations and trends that will change the media landscape and how brands engage with their audiences. Since 2006, the Lab has worked with our clients and with industry partners who can help them best adapt to disruptive change. Its expertise, resources and consulting services also help to inform the learnings, strategies and business outcomes of all Interpublic agencies. For more information, please visit www.ipglab.com or follow @ipglab.

Media Contact:

Scott Berwitz

IPG Mediabrands

SVP, Global Corporate Communications