TV Still Primary Video Medium, but Mobile Exhibits Fastest Growth

February 10, 2012

nielsen-cross-platform-media-usage-feb12.jpgThe vast majority (96%) of Americans watch TV in their homes, roughly double the number (48%) who now watch video online, according to [download page] a February 2012 report from Nielsen. Yet the proportion watching TV in their homes fell 0.2% year-over-year, while those watching video on the internet grew 4.9%. Mobile subscribers watching video online in Q3 2011 showed the fastest growth, jumping 37% year-over-year and 5% quarter-over-quarter to reach more than 10% of the population. In fact, this represents a jump of 205.7% in users since Nielsen first launched its report in Q3 2008.

Time-Shifted TV on the Rise

Data from “The Cross-Platform Report, Q3 2011” indicates that the number of Americans watching time-shifted TV grew 11% from Q3 2010, to 38% of the population. This also represents 65.9% growth in users from Q3 2008. The average time spent watching time-shifted TV rose to 10 hours and 51 minutes per month, representing 13.8% year-over-year growth, and a 66.1% increase from 2008.

Time spent watching video on the internet also grew, to 4 hours and 31 minutes per month, a rise of 7.1% year-over-year, and a more impressive 79.5% growth from 2008. Traditional TV viewing saw a modest increase of 1 hour 17 minutes per month from 2010, remaining relatively steady when compared to the preceding quarter.

Among mobile subscribers, the average time spent watching video was 4 hours and 20 minutes per month, the same as in the previous quarter and Q3 2010.

25-34-Year-Olds Major Mobile Viewers

nielsen-monthly-time-spent-feb-2012.jpgAccording to the study, the 25-34 demographic accounts for 28% of the mobile subscriber video viewing population, while the 35-49 demographic accounts for one-quarter of the population. This latter demographic is more likely to be found watching video online, accounting for 27% of online viewers, ahead of 50-64-year-olds (22%) and the 25-34 demographic (17%). And although adults aged over 65 make up only 19% of the TV viewing population, behind the 50-64 demographic (24%) and 35-49 group (21%), they spend far and away the most time watching TV, at almost 204 hours per month. By comparison, the 35-49 demographic spends 143 hours per month watching TV, while the 12-17 age group spends the least, at just over 105 hours.

Youth Watch Most Mobile Video

Among mobile subscribers, Americans aged 12-17 spend the most time watching video on their devices, at 6 and a half hours per month, followed by 18-24-year-olds (5 hours and 25 minutes) and 25-34-year-olds (4 hours and 20 minutes). Online video viewers skew slightly older: among those watching video on the internet, 18-24-year-olds spend the most time (7 hours and 33 minutes), followed by 25-34-year-olds (6 hours and 30 minutes).

Women, Blacks Still Watch Most TV

Among Americans consuming video content, females across all age categories watch most on TV, with the 50+ demographic leading at almost 200 hours per month. By contrast, males across all age demographics watch more video on the internet, led by the 18-49 group, at 6 and a half hours per month. Men and women spend an equal amount of time overall watching video on mobile phones.

When sorting by ethnicity, some pronounced differences appear: African-Americans watch more than double the amount of TV (206 hours per month) than Asians (96 hours), while whites spend the most time watching DVR playback (more than 25 hours per month) and timeshifted TV (almost 12 hours per month). Asians spend the most amount of time watching video on the internet or on their mobile phones (9 and a half hours, and 5 and three-quarter hours, respectively).

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