Skip to main content

Nielsen: Americans Love Their 'Screen Time'

Americans’ usage of TV, Internet and mobile – the three screens – continues to increase,  according to the Nielsen Co.'s second “A2/M2 Three Screen Report.”

As of third quarter, the average person in the United States watched about 142 hours of TV in one month.  In addition, people who used the Internet were online 27 hours a month, and people who used a mobile phone spent three hours a month watching mobile video, according to Nielsen.

Furthermore, the average time a U.S. home used a TV set during the 2007-2008 television season was up to eight hours and 18 minutes a day, a record high since Nielsen started measuring television in the 1950’s.

The full “A2/M2 Three Screen Report” is available at

“Americans keep finding more time to spend with the three screens,” Susan Whiting, Nielsen vice chairperson, said in a prepared statement. “TV use is at an all-time high, yet people are also using the Internet more often – 31% of which is happening simultaneously.” 

Key facts from the report include:

* Americans are spending more time than ever with their televisions, computers and mobile phones, with television remaining the dominant screen, watched more than 142 hour a month – five hours more than last year. 

*Americans spend more than six hours a month watching time-shifted TV, which is more than double the amount of time they watch video online. 

*Men are more likely than women to watch video on mobile phones, while women are more likely then men to watch video on the Internet.

*During the third quarter, there was no shortage of online video content with events including the Olympics, Major League Baseball games, the political conventions and debates, and the financial crisis. Online video use grew steadily through the quarter. 

“Our numbers show that TV remains the dominant choice for most Americans, yet time-shifting as well as videos on the Internet and on mobile phones, continue to be the trends to watch,” Whiting said.

The TV and Internet figures are calculated using Nielsen’s National TV and Internet panels which are measured electronically and reported on a regular basis. The mobile phone figures are collected by Nielsen via a quarterly survey, and give a first-hand look at how early adopters report their usage of mobile video.