Heaviest Internet Users Also Heavy TV Viewers

    November 5, 2008

Nearly 31 percent of in-home Internet activity takes place while the user is watching television, which indicates there is a large amount of simultaneous Internet and television usage, according to a new report from Nielsen’s TV/Internet Convergence Panel.

Heaviest Internet Users Also Heavy TV Viewers

The convergence panel found the heaviest users of the Internet are also among the heaviest viewers of television with the top fifth of Internet users spending more than 250 minutes per day watching television, compared to 220 minutes of television viewing by people who do not use the Internet at all.

Roughly 50 percent of all respondents had viewed some streaming content online. The demographics streaming the most content included female teens (82%), male teens (64%), men 18-34 (57%) and men 35-54 (55%).

Nearly 60 percent of panelists and more than 80 percent of people who watch TV and used the Internet had simultaneous sessions-watching TV and being online at the same minute. This group tends to be very heavy users of both TV and Internet.

Teens are the most likely demographic to have simultaneous TV/Internet usage, but adults 35-54 have the most simultaneous usage minutes.

"With our Convergence Panel we can now, for the first time, observe what could only be guessed at before – how television viewing and Internet usage interact and affect each other," said Howard Shimmel, Senior Vice President Client Insights, The Nielsen Company

"It is too early to draw any firm conclusions about behavior but the early trends seem to indicate that online usage is complementing, not substituting for, traditional television viewing.  We will be watching this trend carefully to see how television viewing drives Internet usage and visa versa."