Streaming Content Soars: TV Sets Remain Top Device

Streaming of TV and video content continues to rise and while conventional TV sets continue to dominate the way consumers view it, digital devices -- desktop/laptop computers, mobile devices and tablets -- each are growing their share.

In fact, in aggregate, digital devices have surpassed TV sets as the way consumers stream TV and video content.

That's according to findings released this morning by RealityMine, a U.S. research company that licenses Europe’s vaunted TouchPoints method for measuring the various media “touchpoints” consumers use throughout their day.

The research -- which is highly regarded by communications planners and media planners to help understand how to allocate budgets across media -- found that while overall streaming is on the rise, TV continues to be the No. 1 source for viewing it, accounting for 7.4 hours per week, per American consumer.

Computers accounted for 5.0 hours, mobile devices for 3.1 hours and tablets for 3.0 hours weekly.

The study also revealed data showing the device preferences of users of different streaming services, showing marked differences.

While TV-centric services, such as Netflix, Sling, Hulu, Amazon and HBO Go, continue to be dominated by TV set consumption, YouTube and iTunes are dominated by the Web, both desktop and mobile (see chart).

According to RealityMine, Netflix and YouTube continue to have the highest daily reach of streaming content users (18% and 14%, respectively), as well as the highest weekly reach (39% and 40%, respectively).

The new data, which is available through Nielsen, IMS, Telmar and MRI, also found smart “wearable” devices are approaching 13% adoption among the American population.

The top uses of such wearables include exercise (48%), music (20%), accessing various apps (13%), and watching video (6%).

10 comments about "Streaming Content Soars: TV Sets Remain Top Device".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 26, 2016 at 10:49 a.m.

    This study may be "highly regarded" by advertisers and media planners, however its latest "finding" that the average American devotes 7.4 hours per week to TV, is so far off the mark that one wonders if any of the other information it provides can be taken seriously. Also, even if time spent---properly measured, of course--- was determined more realistically, this has nothing to do with the way advertisers decide their media mixes. Just look at radio, which commands about 25% of the average person's media day but gets only 5-6% of national ad spending. Or, conversely, take magazines which account for a handful of minutes in the average person's daily media consumption diet but aggreagte something like $14-15 billion in ad revenues annually.

  2. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, October 26, 2016 at 10:56 a.m.

    Ed, when you say "off the mark," by who's standards? TouchPoints is highly regarded by communications planners and strategic planners. Like we said, it may not be a trading currency like Nielsen's but it is what it is and some brands and agencies want to understand the consumer's media journey beyond historic currency tabulations. There is no perfect method for doing that of course. It's a complicated world. TouchPoints, and RealityMine's applicaiton of it, is just another method for trying to understand it. It's not off the mark. It's a different mark.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 26, 2016 at 11:47 a.m.

    Joe, it is widely accepted, in large part based on Nielsen research, that a typical American spends something like 30 hours a week watching TV, not 7.4 hours. And I'm not just relying on Nielsen. Almost every study that asks people how much time they devote to TV or questions them about hundreds of programs, then tallies the totals, comes far closer to Nielsen's findings and way, way, higher than the results cited from this study. If brands want to understand how consumers spend their media time, that's fine with me---though, as I noted, this is not how media mixes are determined----but at least let's start with a credible measure of time spent, not findings that are very hard to believe. If the TV findings are so far from reality, one can only wonder about the validity of the digital findings. I should note, however, that when the study becomes more specific, as when it asks about Netflix, for example, the results are far more credible. I also estimate, based on actual streaming data and some interpolations, that Netflix reaches about 20% of America's adults per day.

  4. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, October 26, 2016 at 1:24 p.m.

    Ed, I'm not disputing what is widely accepted by people who use Nielsen and comparable metrics to define watching TV. I know they are the basis of most media buys. I'm just pointing out that there are other ways of defining that. We all know there is no perfect methodology. And there are clearly tradeoffs with TouchPoints methodology, but it is also widely accepted that it is taken seriously in communications planning and strategic planning circles. That's all we were reporting on. 

  5. Chris Peterson from R2C Group, October 26, 2016 at 2:10 p.m.

    Joe and Ed, I think you two are talking about two different things. The article is about OTT viewing, not total TV viewing. Also . . . Hulu will tell you that 75% of their viewing is on the TV, so not sure why the big discrepency (here it's cited as about 50%). Sling will quote you about 85% on TV, which is a lot closer to the number here. 

  6. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, October 26, 2016 at 2:18 p.m.

    Chris, I was reporting on a study about consumer consumption of TV and video streamed on a variety of devices. I believe that includes OTT.

  7. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 26, 2016 at 4:31 p.m.

    Good point, Chris. Rereading Joe's piece it does seem that the 7.4 hours per week figure refers only to streaming, in which case my comment about the discrepancy between these findings and Nielsen's for "TV" is not relevant. Joe, I think that we should reboot on this and take up the question of time spent as a media planning indicator, which is a whole other kettle of fish. As I pointed out, advertisers do not evaluate media based on the total amount of time various segments of the population devote to them. Many other, far more brand-specific considerations-- ad effectiveness, reach, targeting capabilities, compatible content, merchandising, etc.--- are at play and all of these trump general time spent trends.

  8. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, October 26, 2016 at 4:44 p.m.

    Phew, glad we cleared that up. Ed, personally, I don't agree with unilateral declarations like "advertisers do not evaluate media based on..." I've found there are all kinds of advertisers in the business we cover and they have many different reasons and methods for evaluating things.

  9. dorothy higgins from Mediabrands WW, October 28, 2016 at 11:42 a.m.

    Your spirited dialog underscores our need for consistency in language and definitions towards common parlance in an uncommonly rapidly changing media world.  We must be able to differentiate with consensus among myriad video viewing behaviors: we cannot equate the experience of the 20 second Roomba cat video to the ten second Snap Chat filter video to the FEP viewing of an hour-long network drama.  All is video; all is not the same. Some objects ARE larger than they appear in our rear view mirrors. 

  10. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 28, 2016 at 3:17 p.m.

    Good point, Dorothy.

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