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Nielsen Says Biggest TV Watchers Do 50% of All Viewing

A new study by Nielsen finds that a small group of viewers watch way more than their share of TV.

Nearly 50% of all TV watching is done by 20% of TV viewers. These heavy TV viewers spend an average of 705 minutes a day in front of the tube, or almost 12 hours.

Since 2009, heavy viewers have increased their TV viewing by 8%, or about a half hour a day.

Nielsen said that African-Americans are 75% more likely to be heavy television viewers. On average African-Americans account for 917 minutes of viewing per day.

As we are wrapping up upfront week, Nielsen also said that in addition to consuming content, heavy TV viewers are also active consumers in many key categories including automotive, apparel, electronics and dining. According to Nielsen, heavy TV viewers are 16% more likely to buy a domestic car. They are 17% more likely to have bought new clothing in the past 12 months.

Heavy viewers are likely to be bigger consumers in 10 out of 17 purchasing categories looked at by Nielsen.

As they consume TV programming, they also see a lot of ads. Though in theory, these viewers are easy to find, but Nielsen notes they’ll also be exposed to ads from competitors as well.

“In order to stay at the forefront, advertisers need to find unique ways to feed those hungry eyes,” Nielsen said in a blog post.