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Nielsen Report Finds Live Viewing Alive and Well

In its third Local Watch Report released Thursday, Nielsen said live viewing continues to dominate overall TV consumption, but there are pronounced differences between individual markets.

The study focusing on device penetration and consumption habits found that throughout the country daily live-viewing still heavily out ranks time-shifted viewing for adults 25-54. Pittsburgh watches the most live TV daily, clocking in at 5 hours and 19 minutes, while San Francisco watches the least: 3 hours and 27 minutes. Cities average between 27 and 49 minutes of time-shifted viewing daily, and 3 minutes to 15 minutes of OTT viewing. 

For primetime, the numbers begin to even-out between live-viewing and 7 day time-shifted viewing. Cities including Houston (47% vs. 44%) and Los Angeles (49% vs. 44%) almost split equally. In Dallas, time-shifted viewing is higher, at 47%, than live-viewership, 44%. Pittsburgh continues to prefer live TV, at 68% in-the-moment viewership versus 22% time-shifted viewing.

As smart technology continues to influence how and when viewers watch television, 72% of Americans own a smart phone while 41% owns a tablet. Eighty-two-percent of Orlando residents own a smartphone, the most in the country, while D.C. out-performs in tablet usage with 56% of the nation’s capital residents owning one. 

Nielsen has tied this information, along with a case study comparing the media habits of San Franciscans and Cincinnati residents, to the upcoming mid-term election. They believe the localized information will help broadcasters “tailor their messages in just the right way.”