Streaming To TV Gaining Ground

According to a recent Nielsen study, Americans spend 35 hours each week watching content across screens, and 94% of that is still on a traditional television. In conjunction with that, Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), a direct connection to video that is watchable on the living room TV but streamed from the Web, is gaining traction.

Pat McDonough, Nielsen’s SVP Insights Analysis and Policy, says “Internet Protocol TV has grown dramatically... it doesn’t look like... ‘TV is dead, or that it’s dying yet’...”

Traditional TV distribution, broadcast and cable and watching on a TV set continues to be the dominant means of ingesting video content. Much like eReaders, which saw small but noticeable gains in penetration in the last three quarters of 2011, IPTV is following suit and market penetration is on the rise. As of February 2012, 10.4% of homes had an IPTV, compared to just 4.7% that same month a year prior.

In October 2011 the use of the Internet feature in IPTV-enabled homes was estimated at about 2% of their TV use. In February 2012 it jumped to about 5% in Internet-enabled homes.

While traditional TV is still the major player in most households, viewing options are evolving. DVRs now appear in 44% of homes, up almost 80% since 2007. Conversely, VCRs and DVDs are down over that same time period, serving as a reminder to marketers, manufacturers and consumers alike that “the only constant is change,” says the report.

The emergence of IPTV is one of a growing number of viewing options to emerge over the past decade and continues to compete with other advances for market share. Unlike other burgeoning tech-sector technologies, IPTV functionality is being built right into current and future generations of televisions, which could drive an increase in usage as penetration increases.

According to Nielsen’s global survey of multi-screen media usage in May, watching video content on computers has become just as common as watching video content on television among online consumers. More than 80% of Internet respondents in 56 countries reported watching video content at home at least once a month:

  • 84% on a computer
  • 83% on a TV
  • 74% via the Internet
  • 56% on a mobile phone at least once a month and 28% at least once a day

Frequency Of Watching Video Content (Previous 30 Days)


Device (% Global Online Average)


Computer at Home

Television at Home

Online (Any Device)

> Once a day




Once a day




Few times a week




Once a week




< Once a week




Not watched in 30 days




Source: Nielsen, May 2012

Mobile video is particularly prominent in Asia-Pacific and Middle East/African regions, where 74 and 72% of online consumers, respectively, report watching video on mobile phones at least once a month, and almost 40% (38% and 37%, respectively) say they do so at least once a day. While mobile video is currently less prominent in North America than in other parts of the world, it is seeing the highest growth rates in mobile phone video consumption. 38% of North American respondents say they watch mobile video once a month.

Dounia Turrill, SVP, Client Insights, Nielsen, notes that “... mobile video consumption is on the rise for entertainment content... in emerging markets where consumers leapfrog home Internet altogether in favor of the... smartphone.”

For additional information from Nielsen, please visit here.





1 comment about "Streaming To TV Gaining Ground".
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  1. Bob Gordon from The Auto Channel, August 8, 2012 at 5:34 p.m.

    Mobile DTV will make watching TV on the net the 8 track of this century

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