DVR Usage Represents Growing Chunk of TV Time

March 1, 2012

nielsen-tvtime-adults-march-2012.jpgAlthough the percentage of TV time spent watching live content has fallen from 2006 to 2011, the average US adult spent 19 minutes more on a year-over-year basis watching TV content (live or timeshifted) during the first 4 weeks of the 2011 season in September, according to February 2012 analysis from Nielsen. This is largely attributable to a rise in DVR usage: in fact, 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.

Live TV Gets Smaller Share for Youth

Data from the Nielsen analysis indicates that during the first 4 weeks of the 2011 broadcast season, 18-34-year-olds spent 79.1% of their total TV time watching live content, down from 82.8% in 2007, and representing the lowest percentage among age groups, behind 35-54-year-olds (86.1%) and those over 55 (92.6%). Among the age groups, the 18-34 set spent by far the most percentage of time on video games (7.6%), easily outpacing the fraction of time spent by 35-54-year-olds (1.7%) and those over 55 (1.5%).

35-54-year-olds devoted 9% of their TV time to DVR usage, more than double the share of time they allotted in 2007 (4.4%), and the most among the age groups. Adults over 55 allocated more than 5% of their time to a DVR, up from 1.9% in 2007, while 18-34-year-olds allotted 8.4%, up from 4.8% in 2011.

Mobile Web Users Spend Less Time on TV

Although time spent watching TV overall rose year-over-year during the first 4 weeks of the 2011 broadcast season, February 2012 research from InMobi suggests that at least among US mobile web users, their devices are a greater time consumer than TV. The report indicates that the average mobile web user in the US consumes 9 hours of media daily, with mobile devices representing 26% of this time (or 142 minutes). This is more than the time spent with TV (135 minutes), computers (96 minutes), and books (49 minutes).

Other Findings:

  • According to Nielsen, leading the trend in DVR usage are females 18-54, who allocate almost 10% of their TV viewing time to a DVR.
  • Since 2006, video game console usage has increased from 2.7% to 3.9% of total TV time, fueled by teenagers, who spend almost 11% of their total TV time with a video game console.
  • Asian homes allocated the least amount of time to live TV (81% of total viewing) during the first 4 weeks of the broadcast season, but led all ethnic groups with the largest percentage of their TV time devoted to DVRs and DVD players.
  • Hispanic homes dedicated more than 3 and a half hours of their TV interaction (5.4%) to game consoles, the most among ethnic groups.
  • African American and Hispanics over 18 spent less time watching TV in 2011 compared to 2010.
  • Data from InMobi indicates that on a global basis, the average mobile web user consumes 7.2 hours of media on a daily basis, with mobile devices taking 27% share of this time (117 minutes), ahead of TV (98 minutes), but behind computers (140 minutes).

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