Heavy Streaming Video Viewers Watch Less TV, Nielsen Says
According to Nielsen's new "State of the Media: Cross Platform Report" obtained by Media Daily News, the media research company says: "The new trend among TV and Internet homes shows the lightest traditional television users streaming significantly more Internet video via their computers, and the heaviest streamers under-indexing for traditional TV viewership. This behavior is led by those ages 18-34."
The typical research view had been that the heaviest TV/media consumers are big users across all services and platforms. Previous research has shown, for example, that TV viewing and usage did not suffer because of new platforms like the Internet.
As evidence, Nielsen says in the first quarter of 2011, the heaviest streamers group -- those who view 18.8 minutes of streaming video a day -- also watch 272.4 minutes of traditional TV a day. The lightest streamers, those viewing 0.1 minutes of streaming video, watch 290.0 traditional TV minutes a day.
In the fourth quarter of 2010, the heaviest streamers were at 14.5 minutes of daily streaming, and 262.7 minutes of traditional TV. The lightest streamers registered 0.0 minutes of streaming and 270.7 minutes of traditional TV time.
Looking at the key 18-34 users -- those who are generally more Internet-savvy -- Nielsen says the heaviest streamers in this group were watching 27.1 minutes a day of streaming video as of the first quarter 2011, with traditional TV viewing at 212.1 minutes. By comparison, the lightest 18-34 streamers are looking at 0.1 minutes of streaming video and watching 246.5 minutes of traditional TV content.
Although Nielsen says this group is small versus the general population, the results are significant. Nielsen adds that more than a third of the TV/Internet population don't stream any video, and that less than 1% don't watch TV at all.
The news is still good for television overall.
U.S. TV viewers watch 158 hours, 47 minutes of TV a month -- 22 more minutes than a year ago. (This includes any time-shifted playback activity.) This amounts to around 10 hours a day for the heaviest of TV users, and around one hour a day for the lightest TV users.
Nielsen says: "While certain segments of the population are migrating toward specific services and viewing habits, the resounding trend is this: Americans are spending more time watching video content on traditional TV, mobile devices and via the Internet than ever before."