TV Screen Dominates Adult Viewing in Q4, Nielsen says

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 to Nielsen.

Nielsen’s fourth-quarter "Comparable Metrics Report" found that adults spent 509 billion minutes viewing on TVs in the quarter and another 63.6 billion minutes viewing on TV-connected devices. Viewing video on PCs accounted for 31.7 billion minutes, smartphone video for 10.9 billion minutes and tablets for 4.4 billion minutes, 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 spent more time on their phones — 19 hours, 39 minutes per week — than watching the tube, at 19:18, according to Nielsen. Among all adults, 34 hours, 32 minutes per week were spent watching TV, with another 4:18 on TV-connected devices. They spent 17:48 per week on their phones.

Nielsen said 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, SVP 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.