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.