Nielsen Cross Platform Report Looks at Phones

The amount of time American adults spent using smart phones in the fourth quarter nearly doubled from a year ago, but it remained a small fraction of the more than five hours per day they spent watching live television.

According to the latest Cross Platform report from Nielsen, live viewing dipped slightly to five hours and four minutes from 5 hours and 10 minutes in the fourth quarter of 2012. The amount of time spent watching time shifted TV rose to 32 minutes from 27 minutes a year ago.

Also dipping was the time spent using the Internet on a computer. Overall the average American consumes nearly 60 hours of content each week across platforms including TV, radio, online and mobile, Nielsen says.

“The past month has been fascinating. Americans have flocked to the TV set, have engaged with content online and have shared their experiences around the content on social media at record levels. From the Super Bowl to the Olympics we’ve seen the draw of live and special event programming. But we’ve also seen popular dramas return to the screen with record numbers showing that scripted television does draw audiences,” said Dounia Turrill, senior VP of insights. “It strikes me that we are in an era of tremendous growth and the quality of information is more important than ever.”

In this new report, Nielsen says it has migrated its reporting of mobile use and mobile video use from survey-based insights to metered data through electronic mobile measurement. The new methodology yielded some interesting data on smart phone and tablet users.

While TV users skew older, smart phone video users skew younger and richer. According to Nielsen, all smart phone users spent 89% of their mobile media time in the fourth quarter using mobile apps.

Women were bigger users of apps, spending nearly an hour and a half more with apps than men. Nielsen says the disparity is even wider when looking at tablets. During the fourth quarter, women spent more than five hours using mobile apps on iPads and whatnot using apps than men.

In total the amount of time Americans spent watching video on a smart phone was 1 hour 23 minutes per month, up from one hour.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.