Total TV Views Dip Slowing, Digital Video Shift To Mobile

There is somewhat encouraging news for traditional TV platforms -- declines in total TV viewing have slowed down over the past three years, while at the same time, overall daily media screen time is on the rise.

Veteran TV analyst Steve Sternberg writes that total TV time per day for both live and time-shifted viewing in fourth-quarter 2015/first-quarter 2016 averages 5 hours and 2 minutes -- a drop of only three minutes from the same period a year earlier. In the previous year there was a 15-minute decline versus the fourth-quarter 2013/first-quarter 2014 period.

Sternberg says adults still spend “about 50% more time per day with traditional television than the combined usage of the Internet (via computers and smartphones), DVD/Blu-rays, game consoles, smartphone and tablet apps, and multimedia devices.” This comes to 5:02 for all total TV versus 3:23 for non-TV screen time.

Plus, during the first half of 2015/16, he says adults spent roughly seven times as many hours per week watching traditional TV versus other screens. This amounted to 35 hours and 10 minutes per week of total traditional TV versus 5 hours and 55 minutes on other screens.

Sternberg notes, as others surveys have also reported, digital video viewing has seen a big shift -- with monthly reach in watching videos on smartphones at 145.1 million (up 41% in the past two years) now higher than that on personal computers 125.6 million (down 18%).

He also says that in looking at Nielsen data -- that reach of both traditional TV and DVR/time-shifted viewing has actually risen slightly from a year ago -- to 286.2 million in the 2015-2016 season from 285.0 in the 2014-2015 season for TV and 196.2 million from 181.9 million for DVR/time-shifted viewing.

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