TV remains the most popular medium for watching video content, but the number of Americans watching video on the internet and their mobile phones has grown considerably, finds Nielsen [download page] in a May 2012 report. In fact while the number of Americans watching TV dipped by about 4 million from Q1 to Q4 2011 (to 284.4 million), the online video audience grew by 3.5% from 142.4 million to 147.4 million, and the mobile video audience increased 17.5% from 28.5 million to 33.5 million.
Comparing Q4 2011 audience figures with those from Q4 2010, the report reveals that the internet video audience grew by roughly 4.2%, while timeshifted TV viewership (among homes with DVRs) rose by 7.1%. Mobile video showed the most rapid growth, jumping from 24.7 million subscribers watching video on their device in Q4 2010 to 33.5 million in Q4 2011, a 36% increase.
According to April 2012 survey results from QuickPlay, 35% of mobile subscribers have tried mobile TV and/or video services, with 27% saying they are current service users. Among current users, 81% say they watch more TV and video on their device than a year ago, and 65% say they use their service at least weekly.
Data from Nielsen’s “Cross-Platform Report Q4 2011″ indicates that TV households spent a monthly average of 153 hours and 19 minutes watching TV during Q4, relatively flat from a year earlier. Time spent watching video on the internet (among users) grew marginally, from 4 hours and 23 minutes to 4 hours and 34 minutes, while the average monthly time spent by mobile subscribers watching video on their devices remained flat at 4 hours and 20 minutes.
The average monthly time spent watching timeshifted TV grew significantly year-over-year, though, from 10 hours and 27 minutes in Q4 2010 to 11 hours and 44 minutes in Q4 2011. According to February 2012 analysis from Nielsen, while the proportion of total TV time spent watching live TV has dropped 4.5% from 89% in 2006 to 85% in 2011, DVR usage has grown fivefold, from 1.6% to 8% of time, during that period.
This increase in timeshifting, which often leads to viewers skipping past commercials, is a major concern for agencies, per a STRATA survey of leading agencies released in May 2012. Data from that study indicates that almost two-thirds of the agencies polled are either very concerned (10%) or moderately concerned (54%) with timeshifting.
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