How Much TV Do People Watch During the Day?

Nielsen-TV-Usage-by-Select-Dayparts-Apr2013Primetime (8PM-11PM) might be the right time for reaching TV viewers, but it’s not the only time, per new data from Nielsen. Nielsen’s figures reveal that traditional TV viewers watch close to 2 hours of TV per day during primetime hours, but they spend more than 1-and-a-half hours watching during the daytime hours of 11AM-3PM, too. TV consumption is lower in the morning (6AM-10AM) and late night (11PM-2AM) hours, but still averages more than 1 hour (64 and 65 minutes, respectively) among viewers. Interestingly, though, while primetime consumption is fairly steady when sorting by income and education, the same can’t be said for the other select dayparts that make up Nielsen’s analysis. Indeed, there is a noticeable inverse correlation between income levels and TV usage during the day. Specifically:

  • Homes with a head of household with less than $30k in income watch 1 hour and 12 minutes of TV in the morning, but that declines all the way to 54 minutes among those making more than $100k;
  • During the late night hours, the consumption gap between both ends of the spectrum is slightly narrower, but still distinct: homes where the household head makes less than $30k spend 1 hour and 11 minutes watching TV on average, compared to 57 minutes among those with the highest incomes; and
  • In the daytime, the gap in consumption between the lowest and highest earners is largest, at 46 minutes (1 hour 58 minutes vs. 1 hour 12 minutes). In fact, at 1 hour and 58 minutes, those homes where the household head makes less than $30k are watching the same amount of TV during the day as they are in primetime.

The same pattern is apparent when looking at education levels:

  • TV homes headed by someone with no college education spend half an hour more watching TV in the morning than those headed by someone with 4 or more years of college education (1 hour 18 minutes vs. 48 minutes);
  • Homes with a household head lacking any college education spend almost 1 hour more watching TV during the day (2 hours 5 minutes vs. 1 hour 7 minutes); and
  • Homes headed by a person without a college education log an average of 1 hour and 13 minutes of TV consumption during the late night, compared to 52 minutes for those headed by someone with 4 or more years of education.

Those are significant differences for marketers looking to schedule their advertising campaigns. It’s worth noting again that the income and education disparities don’t hold true for primetime: in fact, primetime consumptions is highest among homes headed by someone with some college education (2 hours and 9 minutes). Details regarding TV consumption by age group can be found here.

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