Wealthy Households Still Watching Primetime TV; Over-Index in Streaming Subscriptions

Nielsen-Distribution-Primetime-TV-Viewing-by-Income-Apr2013Although they watch less TV during the day, wealthy households (income of more than $100k per year) still make up more than one-fifth share of primetime viewing, virtually unchanged from last year (20.6%) and the year before (22.2%). The data is part of Nielsen’s “Advertising & Audiences” report [download page], which¬†analyzes the distribution of primetime TV viewing by income and education level, also finding that primetime viewing among homes headed by a college graduate remains steady at about one-quarter share.

Although wealthy households have maintained their share of primetime TV viewing, they tend to time-shift TV more than other income segments. That is, looking at the distribution of time-shifting by income reveals that those households earning more than $100,000 per year represent an outsized 30.5% of households. These homes also spend 30 minutes per day on average time-shifting, which is roughly 11% higher than the closest income segment.

That suggests that wealthier households are more likely to “want what they want when they want it.” And separate results from the Nielsen report suggest that they’ll turn to online video subscription services to get that content on demand. In fact, wealthy households are 85% more likely to have a streaming service (such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, Blockbuster.com or Vudu) than the general population.

Other Findings:

  • Homes with tablets are 66% more likely to have a streaming service than the general population.
  • During Q3 2012, the types of activities performed by tablet users while watching TV included visiting a social networking site during the program or during a commercial break (each at 36%), shopping while viewing (33%), looking up information related to the TV program (29%) and looking up product information for an ad seen on TV (20%). That last result is remarkably similar to recent data from the NPD Group, which found that 19.4% of second-screeners shop for products seen in TV ads.
  • Viewers with household income of more than $100,000 make up 19.6% of unique monthly Hulu viewers, 14.8% of Netflix viewers, and 19% of YouTube viewers.
  • Wealthy viewers tend to spend less time with these services, though: they account for only 11.9% of monthly time spent with Hulu, 10.8% of monthly time spent with Netflix, and 13.6% of time with YouTube.
  • Advertisers spent almost 40% of their total TV dollars in primetime last year, with dramas getting the most ad dollars ($7.8 billion), followed by reality and sports (each at $5.6 billion), comedy ($2.7 billion) and news ($2.2 billion). Other genres also picked up $5.6 billion in advertising spending.