Nielsen: People Watching More TV Than Ever

    November 26, 2008
    Chris Crum

Americans are gluing themselves to the screen more and more. That includes TV, Internet, and Mobile. According to research from Nielsen, as of the third quarter 2008, the average person in the U.S. watched approximately 142 hours of TV in one month.  In addition, people who used the Internet were online 27 hours a month, and people who used a mobile phone spent 3 hours a month watching mobile video.

Nielsen Table 1

Time spent in front of the TV has reached the highest it ever has since Nielsen started measuring television in the 50s. What would President-Elect Obama say?

Nielsen Table 2

“Americans keep finding more time to spend with the three screens,” said Susan Whiting, vice chairperson for The Nielsen Company.  “TV use is at an all-time high, yet people are also using the Internet more often – 31% of which is happening simultaneously.” Nielsen shares the following key facts from the report:

– Americans are spending more time than ever with their televisions, computers and mobile phones, with television remaining the dominant screen, watched more than 142 hrs a month – 5 hours more than last year.

– Americans spend more than 6 hours per month watching timeshifted TV, which is more than double the amount of time they watch video online.

– Men are more likely than women to watch video on mobile phones, while women are more likely then men to watch video on the Internet.

– During the third quarter, there was no shortage of online video content with events including the Olympics, Major League baseball games, the political conventions and debates, and the financial crisis. Online video use grew steadily through the quarter.

“Our numbers show that TV remains the dominant choice for most Americans, yet timeshifting as well as videos on the Internet and on mobile phones, continue to be the trends to watch.”

As Read Write Web points out, this information contradicts another report from IBM released earlier this month, which showed that online video is taking viewers away from television. Either way, it’s a lot of time dedicated to watching stuff. It’s a good thing there is educational merit to some of it. I’d like to see a study on how much time is devoted to that type of programming.