The amount of time Americans spend watching “TV” via a traditional television set continues to decline, according to the latest edition of Nielsen’s quarterly Cross Platform Report. While television remains the overwhelming means most people use to watch “television,” usage of the medium declined 1.7% over the past year, according to the second-quarter 2012 report. While still minuscule in total time spent watching TV, mobile phones were the fastest-growing means of watching television over the past year. All other sources were either flat (the Internet) or declined (DVD/Blu-Ray, video game platforms) in terms of TV usage.
“Most of the content from these activities was delivered to us on the TV set in a traditional manner, over broadcast, cable, satellite or telco connection, and a growing amount was delivered by Internet connection,” Nielsen states in the report, adding: “Americans also added another five hours in front of the computer screen using the Internet or watching video content and an increasing amount of time using smartphones this quarter.”
Almost as many Americans (236.5 million) watched TV on their phones during the second quarter of 2012, as watched it on a conventional TV set (283.3 million), albeit for much shorter durations. While the average American spends nearly 145 hours per month watching TV on a traditional TV, Nielsen didn’t even report the average time they spend watching on their phones. But mobile subscribers watching video on their phones -- a smaller sub-segment of about 37 million Americans -- spend an average of five hours and 20 minutes watching TV on their phones each month, an increase of 31 minutes over the second quarter of 2011.
Time spent watching TV via other connected devices -- an Internet-connected computer, DVD/Blu-Ray and video game consoles -- also declined.
The report also sheds some light on another sub-segment of the population -- people who watch TV via a connected device accessing either Netflix or Hulu. The study shows that both users watch about an average of five hours and 20 minutes of content per day, but much more of the Netflix users’ total time (23.4%) is spent doing something other than watching television, such as playing video games, playing pre-recorded software or streaming media.