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Nielsen: Americans Watching Less Live TV

3 Dec, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

DVD and Blu-ray player usage remains unchanged

As expected, the amount of time Americans spend watching broadcast television declined more than 4% (12 minutes) in the third-quarter compared with the prior-year period, according to new data from Nielsen.

The average consumer over the age of 18 still watches 4 hours and 44 minutes of TV every day. Time-shifting content (using a DVR or video-on-demand technology) continues to resonate — albeit slowly at 30 minutes a day. That’s up just two minutes compared with the third quarter in 2013.

Meanwhile, the daily time spent using a smartphone increased 23 minutes, from 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 33 minutes per day. DVD and Blu-ray player usage remains unchanged at nine minutes per day — more than double the four minutes spent using a streaming media device.

“The evolving media landscape has not lessened consumer demand for professionally produced content. What has changed is the number and reliability of new media available to viewers,” Dounia Turrill, SVP of insights at Nielsen, said in a statement. “What used to be a schedule to watch programming now seems like little more than a suggestion.”

Meanwhile, radio consumption remains strong at 2 hours and 44 minutes per day, which is down just three minutes year-over-year. Time spent accessing the Internet via a computer increased 6% to 1 hour and 6 minutes. Using a video game console increased 20% to 12 minutes per day.

Among racial and ethnic groups, Nielsen found that black viewers watch the most broadcast TV at more than 201 hours per month. Hispanic and Asian American viewers watch about 117 and 82 hours monthly, respectively.

Indeed, Asians watching over-the-top video increased 17% — underscored by the fact tablet penetration among Asian-Americans also rose 17% during the period.


About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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