Nielsen: Average TV viewing going up

Tue, 07/08/2008 - 8:30am
Brian Santo

The average amount of time that Americans spend watching TV is going up, even as they spend more time on the Internet. And Americans under the age of 35 are also spending more time watching video on mobile devices, according to the latest figures from the Nielsen Co.

The average American now watches TV for 127 hours and 15 minutes per month, up 4 percent from last year, while also spending 9 percent more time using the Internet (26 hours and 26 minutes per month) than last year.

At the same time, a small but growing number of Internet and mobile phone users are watching video online (2 hours and 19 minutes per month), as well as using their cell phones to watch video (3 hours and 15 minutes per month).

Nielsen reports that as of May, more than 65 percent of U.S. homes received digital cable and satellite combined. These digital TV homes receive nearly 160 channels. In addition, 25 percent and 35 percent of U.S. homes have digital video recorders (DVRs) and video-on-demand (VOD), respectively.

“Commercial television is alive and well – growing 1 percent year-over-year despite the rapid adoption of other platforms,” said John Burbank, CMO for Nielsen. “Moreover, timeshifting represents less than 5 percent of total viewing.”

Additionally, 220 million Americans have Internet access at home and/or work, and 73 percent, or 162 million, went online in May. According to Nielsen, 119 million unique viewers viewed 7.5 billion video streams online in May alone. In addition, as of Q1 2008, 91 million Americans (36 percent of all mobile phone subscribers in the U.S.) owned a video-capable phone.

A full copy of Nielsen’s “Three Screen Report,” is available here.

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