Forecast: 60% Rise In U.S. TV Viewing Expected, Due To Health Fears

Coronavirus issues could mean a 60% increase in the amount of video content watched in U.S. homes, according to Nielsen.

In other parts of the world, one impact of the coronavirus is rising TV usage: In South Korea, TV usage was up 17% in the last week in February from the second week of that month -- 1.2 million viewers.

In Italy, there was a 6.5% increase in TV viewing and almost 12% more in the Lombardy region of the country during the last week of February, according to Auditel, the Italian Joint Industry Committee.

Nielsen notes media consumption in the U.S. is already at historical highs, with U.S. consumers 18+ already spending 3 hours/58 minutes using a smartphone, 3 hours/27 minutes watching liveTV, and 1 hour/41 minutes listening to radio.

They spend 52 minutes using a tablet; 38 minutes were using an internet-content device; 32 minutes using internet on a computer; 29 minutes watching time-shifted TV; 13 minutes on a gaming console; and 4 minutes with a DVD/Blu-Ray player.

By way of comparison to other major disruptive events, TV usage climbed 56% in Houston when Hurricane Harvey hit in August 2017.



2 comments about "Forecast: 60% Rise In U.S. TV Viewing Expected, Due To Health Fears".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 16, 2020 at 11:32 a.m.

    Wayne, when Nielsen says "could mean" that's not the same as "means". A 60% increase in TV viewing would probably happen only if almost everybody stayed home all day---which is a most unlikely prospect. More likely is a temporary spike of about 10-20% in viewing time, which will promptly evaporate once the scare diminishes. As far as the Nielsen stats for total media time spent---for TV, digital and radio---of 12 hours per day are concerned, these are vastly inflated. The real figure when absence from the device and lack of attention are factored in is barely six hours per day as an overal average of attentive exposure for the adult population.

  2. Steve McGowan from Macatawa Media Partners, March 16, 2020 at 1:49 p.m.

    I ran some #s just this AM since Super Tuesday (ST) and found that traditional HUTs (live+DVR) are either flat or off a little for 11 days since ST, compared to the same period last year.  What continues to be up is Internet Connected Devices (ICDs) and a huge boost for the national news networks and local newscasts.  I think the move to ICDs and non-linear content is what we need to look at in the coming days, as sports viewers search for substitutes.

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