Jon Stewart is set to make a return to “The Daily Show” after a six-year absence, with significant changes in the show’s format and target audience. Recent data shows that the average age of “Daily Show” viewers has risen significantly while viewership has decreased dramatically. This trend reflects the overall decline of traditional television as consumers shift from cable to streaming platforms. The net result of this shift is fewer younger viewers.
Since 2015, prime-time TV has seen a major decline in viewership across broadcast and cable networks, with the median age of the viewer increasing from 51 to 62. This trend is also reflected in late-night TV, where the popularity of Stewart was iconic, with average viewership and age demographics both struggling. While these trends have been predictable, the sudden shift towards streaming platforms has brought about the decline much earlier than was expected.
Undoubtedly, the ever-expanding range of streaming services has undermined the traditional television market. Netflix, an increasingly popular platform, boasts the presence of members with vested stakes in the traditional market. This transition is changing the market significantly, leaving traditional television networks in a state of flux.