File this under things that seemed unthinkable 10 years ago: TV ownership in America is down.

For the first time in 20 years, the percentage of American households that own TV sets has decreased, from 98.9 percent, to 96.7 percent, according to Nielson. That's still a ridiculously high percentage of households, but the sudden trend downward is noteworthy. 

Nielson speculates that this is happening for two reasons: 1. Families that have been pinched financially are opting to go without springing for a TV; and 2. Young people just don't think they need them anymore.

With Hulu, Netflix Instant and tons of less copyright friendly streaming options on the Web, dropping $500 on a boob tube is something the newly independent are opting to skip.

Are you listening cable companies? If you want young eye balls in the future, get that content up on the Web (and mobile, too).

[NYT]