TV Screen Dominates Adult Viewing

According to the Nielsen Comparable Metrics Report, Q4, 2016, also summarized by Jon Lafayette for B&C, despite the growing number of ways people can watch video content, 92% of all viewing by U.S. adults is done on a TV screen.

The report says that adults spent 509 billion minutes viewing on TVs in the quarter and another 63.6 billion viewing on TV-connected devices. Viewing video on PCs accounted for 31.7 billion minutes, smartphone video 10.9 billion, and 4.4 billion on tablets, for a combined share of viewing of 7.6%.

Total Share Of Gross Minutes In Time Spent In Viewing In Q4, 2016 (Adults 18+)


Gross Minutes (Q4, 2016)

Share of Gross Minutes (Q4, 2016)


509,196,299, 668


TV Connected Devices



PC Video



Smartphone Video



Tablet Video



Source: Nielsen, May 2017

TV has a weekly reach of 89% of all adults but only 79% of millennials, adults 18-34. TV-connected devices reach 44% of all adults and 54% of those 18-34, says the report. Those young adults spend more time on their phones, (19 hours and 39 minutes per week,) than watching the tube, 19:18, according to Nielsen.

Among all adults, 34 hours and 32 minutes were spent watching TV,

  • Another 4:18 on TV connected devices
  • And 17:48 on their phones.

Nielsen says its Comparable Metrics Report is an in-depth study of users and usage, averaged across the U.S. population, designed to provide an “apples to apples” view of consumption across TV, radio, TV-connected devices, PCs, smartphones and tablets.

Tom Ziangas, senior VP of research at AMC Networks, said “… viewers use the TV screen for the bulk of their viewing… spend more time doing so than all the other platforms combined… when looking at platforms in a comparative fashion… consumers choose the television as the primary vehicle for content… ”

For additional information from Nielsen, please visit here.


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