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nielsen-video-viewing-devices-2011-v-2010-may2012.jpgTV is the most popular viewing medium among Americans, but for online consumers globally, computers appear to have edged into the lead in terms of monthly viewership, according to [download page] a May 2012 report from Nielsen. Polling more than 28,000 online consumers in 56 countries during August and September 2011, Nielsen found that 84% watched video content at least once a month on their computer at home, just ahead of the 83% who watched TV at home at least that often. Not far behind, 74% watched online video content (on any device), while 56% watched video on a mobile phone.

Online Video Consumption Grows

Interestingly, the proportion watching video on a computer at home fell by 2% points from 2010, though video consumption on a computer at home still overtook TV by virtue of the latter’s 7% point drop in popularity, from 90% in 2010. In contrast to the decline in popularity of both computers and TVs, the proportion of global online consumers watching video online on any device jumped almost 6%, from 70% to 74%, while mobile video consumption grew a percentage point to 56%.

Computers, TVs Still Lead in Daily Viewership

When breaking down the data by daily viewing though, computers and TVs retain their lead over internet and mobile video. 48% of global online consumers reported watching video content on a computer at least once a day, with TV (46%) closely following, making daily TV viewing 24% more popular than daily online viewing (37%).

After mobile phones (28%) and computers at work (28%), daily viewing on other devices dips significantly. For example, less than 1 in 10 global online consumers report watching video content daily through a DVR or digital video recorder (9%), tablet (8%), or in-home video game system (7%).

Smartphone Ownership Outpaces HDTV

Data from Nielsen’s “Global Online Consumers and Multi-Screen Media” indicates that a slightly higher percentage of global online consumers own a smartphone (36%) than an HDTV (35%), although HDTVs edge smartphones in terms of purchase intent in the next year (23% vs. 21%). A high proportion of online respondents also either own or plan to purchase a DVR (42%), TV with internet connection (40%), standalone device that connects their TV to the internet (35%), and 3D TV set (29%).

According to May 2012 figures from Parks Associates, 56% of 3D TV owners are very satisfied with their TV’s 3D features.

Other Findings:

  • Data from the Nielsen report indicates that mobile video consumption is particularly prevalent in the Asia Pacific and Middle East/Africa regions, where 74% and 72% of online consumers, respectively, report watching video on their phones at least once a month.
  • Mobile video consumption is growing fastest in North America, up 27% year-over-year to 38% of online consumers.
  • Smartphone ownership and purchase intent over the next year is highest in the Asia Pacific region, at 70%, far ahead of the 57% global average. Europe (43%) and North America (45%) have the lowest rates of potential ownership in 12 months.
  • The Asia Pacific region also over indexes in potential tablet ownership, with 45% of online respondents either already owning (18%) or intending to purchase (27%) a device in the next 12 months. Once again, Europe (16%) and North America (19%) show lower rates of potential ownership than the global average (31%).

About the Data: The Nielsen Global Survey of Multi-Screen Media Usage was conducted in August/September 2011 and polled more than 28,000 consumers in 56 countries throughout Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America. Nielsen uses a minimum reporting standard of 60% internet penetration or 10M online population for survey inclusion.

The Parks Associates data point is based on a survey of more than 600 3D TV owners.

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