Lower TV Income Homes Have Highest TV, Media Usage

Although new premium digital video platforms are growing, one fact has remained the same about TV consumption: The less money one earns, the more TV will be watched.

Nielsen’s Total Audience Report for the third quarter says “lower income adults have greater television usage across all hours of the day.” Adults in TV households with income under $25,000 watched 211 hours/14 minutes of monthly live TV and DVR/time-shifted TV.

On the flip side, those who make $75,000 and more view virtually half that level -- at 113 hours/41 minutes. TV homes with incomes of $25,000 and $50,000 tally 172 hours/25 minutes of TV, while TV homes with incomes of $50,000 and $75,000 at a 144 hours/30 minutes.

Those with lower income also have the greatest difference in viewing versus higher income people between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.



Nielsen says usage trends are similar for lower incomes across all other media as well, including multimedia devices, AM/FM radio, Internet on a PC, game console, DVD/Blu-Ray device, and app/Web use on a smartphone.

Only with app/Web usage on a tablet does lower income households take a backseat when it comes to monthly media usage, coming in third place to those who make $50,000 and $75,000.

Connected TV devices also show some different trends. While lower incomes use these devices -- including DVD, gaming consoles and multimedia devices -- more in the day than other income groups, the highest income homes have the most usage during prime-time hours.

1 comment about "Lower TV Income Homes Have Highest TV, Media Usage ".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, December 11, 2015 at 1:40 p.m.

    Wayne, I believe that Nielsen is reporting media usage by HH income only for those with the device. For example almost everybody has a TV set, hence the fact that low income adults outview their upper income counterparts---which is no news at all---reflects a nation-wide finding. However, according to Nielsen, the penetration of tablets is 78% among upper income homes but only 34% among low income homes. As a result, the finding that among those with tablets, one segment or another is above or below par in total TV viewing, must be weighted by the degree of penetration. It would have been a lot clearer if Nielsen had provided such over-all per-capita data in its report. The way it's presented, its a bit misleading.

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