PC Encroaching on TV’s Dominance in Screen Time among Digital Video Users

May 30, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Media & Entertainment | Television | Youth & Gen X

While TV remains the preeminent channel for watching video content, the PC is slowly encroaching on TV’s territory by capturing an increasing amount of screen time among those who download or stream video online, according to research from Ipsos MediaCT.

The percentage of video consumed on a TV among video downloaders and streamers (some 52% of Americans age 12+ who have ever done so) declined from 75% in February 2007 to 70% in February 2008 – a small but significant drop in overall “share of screen time” among digital video users.


At the same time, the percentage of video consumed on a PC among digital video users increased from 11% to 19% during the same period, according to findings of Ipsos MediaCT’s MOTION – its quarterly tracking study investigating digital video usage and behaviors in the US.

In addition, the percentage of total screen time captured by movie theaters also declined significantly in the past year.

“Streaming video online has become an activity many Americans aren’t just experimenting with, but enjoy on a regular basis. Today, about half of all internet users aged 12 and up have streamed a video file online in the past 30 days,” said Director of Ipsos MediaCT Adam Wright

“While the number of device options are growing for consumers to access and watch their favorite video content, what isn’t necessarily changing is the location where we enjoy this video content – our homes,” Wright said.

Rise in PC’s Share Across Age, Gender Groups

The phenomenon of watching more video content on a PC is relatively consistent by age group and gender.


Teens age 12-17 are the only age group watching a significantly larger percentage of their video content on portable devices. Not surprisingly, then, teens also experienced the largest drop in the share of screen time they devote to the TV.

New video playback devices, such as the Apple TV and Roku’s Netflix Player, are coming onto the market specifically trying to bridge the gap between traditional viewing habits and the growing demand for more convenient access and management of digital video content, Ipsos said.

“We really see these share gains in nontraditional video channels as not simply an isolated, generation-driven market effect, but rather a large macro-trend in the way consumers want their video content delivered that those in the entertainment industry should increasingly be paying attention to as we look forward to the rest of 2008 and beyond,” Wright concluded.

About the study: Data were sourced from the Q1 ’08 Deep Dive wave of fieldwork as part of Ipsos MediaCT’s MOTION study, which was conducted online among a representative US sample of internet users age 12 years and older in February 2008.

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