Nielsen: Cross-Platform TV Viewing Rises In Tough Times

video on internetThe rising recession may have resulted in more video watching for consumers at the end of last year. 

The Nielsen Co. says in the fourth quarter of 2008, Americans watched more than 151 hours of TV per month, a new all-time high--a 3.6% gain versus the same period a year before.

In addition, the Internet-inclined watched another two hours and 53 minutes of video--up from 2:31 in the third quarter. Mobile video watchers were at 3:42 in the fourth quarter, up from 3:37 in the third quarter.

These two platforms were not the best alternatives to traditional live TV viewing. That came from time-shifted viewing, which amounted to 7 hours and 11 minutes--a gain of 33% versus the same period the year before.

However, among younger viewers 18-24, viewing on alternative TV devices was nearly the same--about 5 hours a month each for both the Internet and DVRs.



TV usage is climbing, with most of traditional television increasing with age. For example, adults 45-54 watched 173 hours per month, versus 118 hours per month for 18- to-24-year-olds. Internet video usage is highest young adults. DVR usage is highest among 25- to-54-year-olds--10:50 hours a month.

Mobile video viewing had a major spike. Nielsen says mobile viewers grew 9% in the fourth quarter to 11 million versus the third quarter.

Average monthly time spent viewing mobile video rose 2%, from 3:37 to 3:42, between the third quarter of 2008 and the fourth quarter. Viewing mobile video is the highest among teenagers: 6:38 per month among 12- to-17-year-olds.

Nielsen notes that men continue to watch more video on mobile phones than women, and women continue to watch more video on the Internet and television than men.

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