Nielsen: TV Screen Dominates Adult Viewing in 4Q

Despite the growing number of ways people can watch video content, 92% of all viewing by U.S. adults is done on a TV screen, according the Nielsen.

Nielsen’s fourth-quarter Comparable Metrics Report says that adults spent 509 billion minutes viewing on TVs in the quarter and another 63.6 billion viewing on TV-connected devices. Viewing video on PCs accounted for 31.7 billion minutes, smartphone video 10.9 billion, and 4.4 billion on tablets, for a combined share of viewing of 7.6%.

TV has a weekly reach of 89% of all adults but only 79% of millennials—adults 18-34. TV-connected devices reach 44% of all adults and 54% of those 18-34.

Those young adults spend more time on their phones—19 hours and 39 minutes per week—than watching the tube, 19:18, according to Nielsen. Among all adults, 34 hours and 32 minutes were spent watching TV, with another 4:18 on TV connected devices. They spent 17:48 on their phones.

Nielsen says its Comparable Metrics Report is an in-depth study of users and usage—averaged across the U.S. population—designed to provide an “apples to apples” view of consumption across TV, radio, TV-connected devices, PCs, smartphones and tablets.

“The fact of the matter is that viewers use the TV screen for the bulk of their viewing and spend more time doing so than all the other platforms combined,” said Tom Ziangas, senior VP of research at AMC Networks. “Sure, viewers have more options today, but when looking at platforms in a comparative fashion, it’s clear that consumers choose the television as the primary vehicle for content,” he added.

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.