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Nielsen: 91% of Consumers Pay for TV Access

15 Jun, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Data debunks myth consumers are cord-cutting

Television viewership continues to increase in U.S. homes while at the same time access to video content shuffles between cable, satellite and telephone companies, according to a new report.

In its “State of the Media” first-quarter report, media data company Nielsen found that TV viewership increased 22 minutes per month per person compared to the same period last year. The lowest percentage of viewers watch at least 60 minutes of TV per day, while the most-active percentage watch nearly 10 hours of TV per day.

Indeed, less than 1% of U.S. consumers only access traditional network broadcast TV. More than 90% get their TV from cable, satellite or telco.

The highest percentage of streaming activity occurs among the coveted 18-34 year-old demographic, according to Nielsen.

“The group of consumers exhibiting this behavior is significant but small,” Nielsen said. “More than a third of the TV/Internet population is not streaming, whereas less than 1% are not watching TV.”

The majority of TV homes — roughly two-thirds — have an HDTV, up more than 20% over last year. Slightly less than 50% have a video game console or a DVR — 45% and 40%, respectively.

Indeed, 99.9 million U.S. households own at least a DVD or Blu-ray Disc player, which is down more than 900,000 households from the same period last year.

Notably, mobile video viewing on handheld devices increased 41% from 2010 but accounts for no more than a handful of hours per month.

In total numbers, Nielsen reported that 288.5 million Americans (over the age of 2) watch TV (up 0.8% from 2010), while 107 million time-shift (record) programming (up 13.2%). More than 190 million Americans access the Internet on a computer (down 0.2%), while 142.4 million watch video on the Web (up 4.8%).

More than 231 million people in the country use a mobile phone (up 0.7%) and 28.5 million watch video on a mobile phone (up 41%).

“Each month, U.S. consumers spent nearly 159 hours viewing TV in their homes, 4 and a half hours viewing Internet video on their computer, and more than 4 hours watching video on their mobile devices,” said Matt O’Grady, EVP, media audience measurement with Nielsen. “The good news for both media companies and advertisers is that it’s clear consumers are willing to pay for high quality content.”

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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