More Viewers Watch Timeshifted TV

November 22, 2010

The number of US timeshifted TV viewers grew at a much faster year-over-year rate than the number of traditional in-home TV viewers, according to a new study [pdf] from The Nielsen Company.

Almost 100M Watch Timeshifted TV

Timeshifted TV reached about 97.9 million monthly US viewers in Q2 2010, up about 18% from Q2 2009. While in-home TV reached 286.6 US million monthly US viewers in Q2 2010, this was only up less than 1% from Q2 2009.

Time Spent Watching Timeshifted TV Grows 18%

Time spent watching timeshifted TV also increased about 18% between Q2 2009 and Q2 2010, growing from eight hours and two minutes to nine hours and 27 minutes. In the same period, time spent watching in-home TV dropped 0.2%, from 143 hours and 51 minutes to 143 hours and 37 minutes.

In addition, time spent watching DVR playback grew 1.1% year-over-year, from 24 hours and 11 minutes to 24 hours and 27 minutes.

65-plus Watch Most Traditional TV

Looking at TV viewing patterns by age, adults 65 and up watched the most traditional TV during Q2 2010, an average of 196 hours and 21 minutes. Meanwhile, adults 25-34 averaged the most timeshifted TV viewing (12 hours and 52 minutes) and DVR playback (29 hours and 29 minutes).

Teens 12-17 spent the least amount of time watching all three forms of TV.

Women, 50-64 Represent Largest Share of TV Audience

By gender, women made up 54% of the TV audience in Q2 2010. By age, the largest share of the TV audience was composed of 50-64-year-olds (24%), with teens 12-17 constituting the smallest share (6%).

Females spent more time than males on average per month watching TV in all age brackets except 2-17, where males spent an average of 106 hours and 43 minutes and females spent an average of 105 hours and 30 minutes.

Blacks Watch Most Overall TV, Asians Least

Examining TV viewing habits during Q2 2010 by race, overall blacks spent the most time per month watching TV (199 hours and six minutes) and Asian-Americans spent the least (92 hours and six minutes).

However, whites spent the most time per month watching timeshifted TV (10 hours and 36 minutes) and Hispanics spent the least (five hours and 57 minutes). Whites also spent the most monthly time watching DVR playback (25 hours and 31 minutes), while Asian-Americans spent the least (19 hours and 22 minutes).

Hispanics Have Highest Satellite Install Rate

Looking at TV delivery systems, Hispanics have the highest rate of satellite TV systems (34.9%) and broadcast only TV systems (14.3%) installed, while Asian-Americans have the highest install rate of wired cable TV systems (66%).

HDTV Viewing Lags Ownership

Although 56% of US households now have at least one HDTV, only 13% of total day viewing on cable and 19% of viewing on broadcast television is “true HD” viewing, according to other recent data from The Nielsen Company.

Despite relatively high levels of consumer HDTV adoption, less than 20% of total US TV viewing consists of HD content. Nielsen analysis indicates reasons for this disconnect include the fact that more than four in 10 US households still do not own an HDTV and/or lack HDTV service, even most HDTV homes have at least one standard set, and about 20% of viewing on HD sets is via non-HD feeds.

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