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US usage of TV, the internet and mobile – the “three screens” – continues to increase across the board, and in each month during Q3 2008, the average American watched approximately 142 hours of TV, viewed three hours of mobile video, and went online for 27 hours, according to research from The Nielsen Company.


The “A2/M2 Three Screen Report,“which details key findings from the research, also states that the average time a US home used a TV set during the 2007-08 TV season was 8 hours and 18 minutes per day, a record high since Nielsen started measuring television in the 1950s.

With regard to specific age groups, users age 65+ watch the most TV each month, while those age 35-44 use the internet most.


“Americans keep finding more time to spend with the three screens,” said Susan Whiting, vice chairperson for The Nielsen Company, referring to the fact that many of the three-screen-watching activities were found to be taking place at the same time.? “TV use is at an all-time high, yet people are also using the Internet more often – 31% of which is happening simultaneously.”

Additional report findings:

  • Television remains the dominant of the three screens and was watched more than 142 hours/month. This was 5 hours more than last year.
  • Americans spend more than six hours/month watching time-shifted TV, which is more than double the amount of time they watch video online.
  • Men are more likely than women to watch video on mobile phones, while women are more likely to watch video on the internet.
  • Online video use grew steadily through Q3 2008, fueled by coverage of the Olympics, Major-League baseball games, the political conventions and debates, and the financial crisis.

“Our numbers show that TV remains the dominant choice for most Americans, yet timeshifting as well as videos on the internet and on mobile phones [are growing quickly and] continue to be the trends to watch,” Whiting said.


About the research: The TV and internet figures are calculated using Nielsen’s National TV and internet panels which are measured electronically and reported on a regular basis. The mobile phone figures are collected by Nielsen via a quarterly survey, and give a firsthand look at how early adopters report their usage of mobile video.

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