Timeshifted TV Up, PC-based Web Down

June 11, 2010

In the past year, Americans have significantly increased the amount of timeshifted TV they watch and decreased their PC-based internet usage, according to The Nielsen Company Q1 2010 Three Screens Report.

Timeshifted TV Grows 14.7%
While Americans age 2 and older on average spent substantially more time (158 hours and 25 minutes) watching TV in the home than consuming any other form of media tracked by the Three Screens Report, timeshifted TV usage grew at the highest rate between Q1 2010 and Q1 2009.


On average, Americans spent nine hours and 36 minutes watching timeshifted TV (such as with a DVR device) per month in Q1 2010, a 14.7% increase from eight hours and 22 minutes per month in Q1 2009. In contrast, the monthly rate of watching TV in the home grew 1.3% from 153 hours and 47 minutes in Q1 2009.

Interestingly, the average monthly time spent watching TV in the home dipped to 153 minutes and 47 seconds in Q4 2009 before rising again in Q1 2010. Meanwhile, average monthly time spent watching timeshifted TV rose to nine minutes and 13 seconds and then grew another 23 seconds per month in Q1 2010.

Nielsen notes that TV watching patterns in the US tend to be seasonal, with higher winter usage and lower summer usage sometimes leading to quarterly decreases.

Web Video Grows, Mobile Video Stays Flat
Americans spent an average of three hours and 10 minutes per month watching video on the internet during Q1 2010, a 5.9% increase from three hours in Q1 2009. However, this average decreased by 12 minutes from the three hours and 22 minutes Americans spent watching internet video per month in Q4 2009.

The average amount of time mobile subscribers spent viewing video on a mobile phone per month remained flat in Q1 2009, Q4 2009 and Q1 2010 at three hours and 37 minutes.

PC-based Web Usage Drops
On average, Americans spent 25 hours and 26 minutes per month using the internet on a PC during Q1 2010. While this remained the second-most-popular activity recorded by the Three Screens Report based on time spent, it was the only activity to consistently decline.

Year-over-year, internet-based PC usage declined 13.1% from 29 hours and 15 minutes per month in Q1 2009. In Q4 2009, this monthly average was 26 hours and 32 minutes.

Other Figures

  • 292 million people in the US own at least one TV.
  • More than half of US TV households now have HDTV, up 189% from Q1 2008.
  • High-speed broadband internet access is in 63.5% of homes.
  • Nearly 25% of homes have smartphones.
  • Fifty-five percent of mobile video viewers are adults 25-49.
  • The average monthly time spent simultaneously watching TV and using the internet increased 9.8% year-over-year in Q1 2010 to three hours and 41 minutes.

Half of Adults Consume Online Video
Fifty-two percent of US adults, and 69% of US adult internet users, have used the internet to watch or download video, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. More than half of video uploaders (52%) post their videos on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. A similar percentage (49%) post videos to video-sharing sites like YouTube and Google Video.

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