The number of monthly minutes US TV viewers 2 and up spent watching timeshifted TV in Q4 2010 rose about 13% year-over-year, according to a new report from The Nielsen Company. Data from “State of the Media: TV Usage Trends” indicates Americans age 2 and older watched an average of 10 hours and 27 minutes per month watching timeshifted TV, compared to nine hours and 13 minutes in Q4 2009.
Percent changes in year-over-year viewing of traditional and specific DVR playback TV were much smaller. TV viewing typically rises as the weather gets colder in Q4, according to Nielsen analysis.
Older Viewers Watch More Traditional TV
In terms of breaking down Q4 2010 TV viewing habits by age, Nielsen data shows that average monthly minutes spent watching traditional TV is significantly higher among older viewers. The highest monthly average recorded in Q4 2010 was by viewers 65 and up (210 hours and 34 minutes), while the lowest monthly average was recorded by viewers 12-17 (105 hours and seven minutes).
Viewers 2-11 had a slightly lower monthly average for time spent watching traditional TV than those 12-17, which is likely due to this demographic including preschool-age children who may watch TV at home during school hours. The overall average of monthly time spent watching TV among viewers 2 and older was 154 hours and five minutes.
25-64 Demographic Watches Most Timeshifted TV
In terms of both average monthly time spent watching all forms of timeshifted TV and DVR playback TV, adults between the ages of 25 and 64 watch the most, with 25-34-year-olds dominating in both categories.
In particular, averages suggest that virtually all timeshifted TV viewing among viewers 65 and older is performed via DVR, as the monthly time averages for this age group are only seven hours and 14 minutes for all timeshifted viewing but 26 hours and 22 minutes for DVR playback.
African-Americans Watch More Weekly TV
Looking at Q4 2010 weekly TV viewing statistics, African-American viewers 2 and up have a much higher average viewing time (47 hours and eight minutes) than all viewers 2 and up (34 hours and 39 minutes. Hispanic viewers 2 and up have the lowest average weekly viewing time (29 hours and 48 minutes). Weekly age demographics follow a similar pattern as monthly age demographics (see above).
In terms of average weekly timeshifted TV viewing, both African-Americans (one hour and 43 minutes) and Hispanics (one hour and 28 minutes) 2 and up have lower averages than overall viewers 2 and up (two hours and 21 minutes).
Overall Monthly Viewers Slightly Increase
In terms of total overall monthly TV viewers during Q4 2010, Nielsen statistics show little year-over-year or quarter-over-quarter growth. The Q4 2010 viewer total of about 289.28 million is only about 1% higher than the Q3 2010 viewer (286.32 million) and Q4 2009 (286.94 million) totals.
TV Viewers Multitask
Nearly three-quarters of American consumers are multitasking while watching TV, according to a recemt study from Deloitte. Data from “State of the Media Democracy” indicates that while watching TV, 42% of US viewers are online, 29% are talking on cellphones or mobile devices, and 26% are sending instant messages or text messages.
In addition, 61% of US consumers now maintain a social networking site, where Deloitte says constant streams of updates and discussion forums have made delaying awareness of live TV outcomes a near impossibility.