Arbitron: One-third Watch TV outside of Home

May 1, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

African-American | Media & Entertainment | Out-of-Home | Television

More than one-third of television viewers (35%) spend some portion of their weekly television viewing hours somewhere other than their own home – and the younger the viewer, the more likely that TV is watched away from home – according to the Arbitron Away-from-Home Television Viewing Study.

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of those age 12-17 said they watched TV away from home at least once per week; nearly half (49%) of 18-24-year-olds reported doing so; and just over 23% of those age 55+ watch said they watch TV away from home at least once per week, Arbitron said.

However, ad agency and TV executives apparently believe that only 15% of viewers watch TV away from home, a recent web-based survey by Arbitron found. Yet the Arbitron Away from home Television Viewing Study found that out-of-home viewing is more ubiquitous and more important than most industry insiders believe:

  • More than one-third (35%) of Americans age 12 and older (approximately 88 million) had watched TV away from home in the previous week.
  • Some 25% of respondents reported watching TV at someone else’s home, 11% at a restaurant/bar, 7% at work, and 5% at a hotel/motel or vacation home; 12% said they have watched at some other location away from home.
  • 58% of those who had viewed TV away from home in the previous week watched during the Fringe/News period and 55% watched during Access/Prime Time – the two most popular dayparts for away-from-home TV viewing.
  • Those who watch TV away from home reported spending an average of two hours and seven minutes viewing away from home in typical day.
  • Nearly equal proportions reported having watched a sporting event (20%), a local station’s news broadcast (19%) or an episode of a TV series (18%) in the previous week away from home.
  • Heavy TV viewers (those who report having watched 5+ hours of TV in the previous 24 hours) are more likely to watch television away from home.
  • People who watch TV away from home are less likely to tune away from commercials than when viewing at home.

“The away-from-home TV audience has great potential for advertisers, provided it can be quantified,” said Carol Edwards, vice-president, Television Services, Arbitron Inc. “This study provides context about the nature of away-from-home TV viewing.”

Study results are consistent with Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) findings on away-from-home viewing, Arbitron said:

  • Time spent viewing away from home is roughly two hours in a typical day.
  • Away-from-home viewing is consistent for both genders – women are almost as likely as men to watch TV in some place other than their homes.
  • African-American viewers are more likely than average to watch away from home.
  • Young men are more likely to watch TV out-of-home during Prime Time; women are more likely to do so during the afternoon.

For the Arbitron Away-from-Home Television Viewing Study,  2,506 people were interviewed to explore the way Americans watch television at locations other than their own homes. From November 27 to December 19, 2006, telephone interviews were conducted with a random national sample of respondents age 12 and older.

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