Time Spent With Mobile Overtakes Television, But TV Remains Dominant Video Platform

In another symbolic tipping point for the digital media economy, Americans' time spent with mobile devices has surpassed the time they spend on television sets for the first time this year.

The estimates, which come from eMarketer's latest update, project the average American will spend an average of nine minutes more daily using their mobile devices than their television sets this year.

eMarketer also projects mobile's margin will continue to grow through 2021, when Americans will be spending an average of 32 minutes more daily than they do with television.

Needless to say, it's not an apples-to-apples comparison, since people use their mobile devices for more functions than they use TV for, including various forms of communications, search, browsing, etc., but eMarketer also released a secondary analysis showing the amount of time Americans spend daily watching TV vs. "digital video," including video content accessed via personal computers, mobile and other "connected" devices.



Americans will spend 209 minutes daily watching TV this year, about 2.2 times the 97 minutes they spend watching digital video daily, according to eMarketer's estimates.

“While time spent watching traditional TV is declining, the networks already monetize their content that is viewed on OTT [over-the-top] services like Netflix or Hulu,” eMarketer Forecasting Analyst Eric Haggstrom, explains, adding, “Soon-to-be-released streaming services from Disney, WarnerMedia and NBCU may allow them to monetize their content more effectively. Whether or not these services gain traction and replace lost audiences remains to be seen.”

7 comments about "Time Spent With Mobile Overtakes Television, But TV Remains Dominant Video Platform".
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  1. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC, June 5, 2019 at 11:23 a.m.

    Compliments to MediaPost & Joe Mandese
    for collaboration with eMarketer
    to share these interesting data
    with appropriate preliminary qualifications.
    I would only add that just because projections
    can calculated, such data are to be considered extrapolations and do not enjoy the status of
    “future facts.”

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, June 5, 2019 at 1:55 p.m.

    Only media observers stuck in the past could encounter a wounded body on the street, bleeding out, and take note that the heartbeat was still there and the rate of blood loss was diminishing with each minute. Look, it's still more alive than not.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 5, 2019 at 3:56 p.m.

    I second Nick's comment about what the "data" actually represent, namely someone's estimates of what will or may happen in the future---not facts. More important, to Doug's endlessly repeated chant that TV is dying---or just about dead----the main point from an advertiser's point of view is not so much what type of device is being used to access TV/video content but what content is actually being viewed and whether that content carries ads. On this score, poor, bleeding, almost dead "TV" is miles ahead of digital in time spent and will, no doubt, continue to be way ahead for some time to come. In fact, "linear TV" is morphing---often with its ads---to the sacred ground of streaming video. While it will take time for things to sort themselves out, advertisers may still have as many ---or more---TV GRPs to buy---even if fewer of them are attained via "TV sets".

  4. jen hahs from essence, June 6, 2019 at 3:15 p.m.

    just a quick note that I appreciate when subject experts chime in on articles like these. Thank you!

  5. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, June 6, 2019 at 3:49 p.m.

    @Jen Hahs: Me too. MediaPost has the smarest community of subject experts. It's a challenge reporting news for them. -- Joe

  6. Cynthia Anderson from Post Graduate Student, June 9, 2019 at 1:06 p.m.

    Video producers, on YouTube in particular must take notice of this research and change their process of composing videos prior to uploading accordingly. "Show Notes" / Links to Content are not viewable to Smart TV owners who watch YouTube videos on that device. "Click on the Link" is not possible.  On-screen content links in text form must & should now be shown in the video if the video producer wishes to have their viewing audience take notice of any marketing tactics such as show notes.
    C.V. Anderson

  7. Nicholas Schiavone from Nicholas P. Schiavone, LLC replied, June 9, 2019 at 10:14 p.m.


    Bravo & Ditto!!



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