Some 56 million Americans – a third of the adult viewing population – have begun skipping live TV in favour of time-shifted viewing and online content, according to research by Say Media. The rise of on-demand video players means viewers can watch their favourite programmes whenever they want. They can skip to the bits that interest them and – crucially - avoid the ads. This is a big problem for advertisers, who have indirectly funded the programming that is on free access. Those big-ticket premium ad slots are worthless if nobody is watching them.