If you’re wondering how you lose five and a half hours every day this year, chances are it’s from watching video on some kind of device including the Sony in the living room.
That’s the new estimate--5 hours and 31 minutes--that eMarketer says adults will spend each day in 2015, up six minutes from the year before, watching something. Digital device-watching is adding on significantly to the total.
The new research says the average adult spent 4 hours and 35 minutes watching TV in 2011, down to 4 hours and 22 minutes last year and headed for 4 hours and 15 minutes this year.
In 2014, adults spent 21 minutes with digital video, overwhelmingly on PCs, but that was up to 1 hour and 3 minutes last year on all devices and is likely to reach 1 hour and 16 minutes this year.
The company forms its estimates based on proprietary numbers built from a data analysis of hundreds of sources, including research firms’ estimates, tracking data like Nielsen and comScore and consumer surveys. It builds a consensus of the market from that.
While TVs decline always gets a lot of headlines, that figure means, right here in 2015, a typical adult might still watch all of networks’ prime time with another 90 minutes to spend on TV elsewhere, every day. But the total viewing of all sorts continues to rise, too.
"The increase in overall screen time highlights the complexity of today's media ecosystem," said Paul Verna, senior analyst, eMarketer, in prepared comments. "While so much debate has centered on a supposed tug-of-war between TV and digital video, the reality is that digital video is growing not at the expense of TV, but because video content is more popular than ever. We might spend less time watching on the main screen, but we're no less interested in TV programming, and in fact, we seek out more of it every year."
But eMarketer points out, television still gets the ad bucks. It estimates 40.2% of major media ad spending--$70.6 billion--will be spent on TV, and just 4.4% of all spending, or $7.7 billion, will be spent on digital video ads.
That seems to be the lingering power of TV. Though there are lots of channels, that universe does seem relatively finite compared to the myriad places ad dollars--and viewers-- can go online. Also those visits to digital video are typically in short bursts. It seems a little like the problems radio used to have (before Spotify, Pandora, etc.) getting anywhere near the dollars it “deserved” based on its audience size.
Verna says the problem may be that advertisers are skittish about digital video’s viewability problems and the low levels of ads seen to completion, two lingering issues that might keep the dollars from flowing more freely,
The new data does confirm--for about the 400th time, by various surveys and pieces of research--that the big push in video viewership is coming from mobile devices. In 2015, eMarketer estimates tablet viewership will reach 22 minutes a day, a 119.8% increase from 2011, and smartphone views will increase to 17 minutes, up 81.1% from 2011, when both of those things were newer to consumers.
On the other hand, while laptop viewing has gone up 18.6% since 2011, it was at 24 minutes a day last year and eMarketer says it will stay there this year too.