For most Americans, staying home with family is their favorite way to spend an evening, per results from a new Gallup survey. One-third of the more than 1,000 US adults surveyed preferred spending time at home with their families over any other evening activity.
Americans also have an affinity for watching TV, with almost one-quarter (23% share) of respondents naming this as their favorite way to spend an evening. This is particularly true among older adults, with the report noting that more than one-third of adults ages 65 and older prefer to spend their evenings in front of the TV, compared to 14% of 35-54-year-olds and 8% of 18-34-year-olds.
As the survey was conducted in late May-early June, these top responses are likely influenced by the restrictions still in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, limiting the options for some respondents. Gallup isn’t alone in unearthing this trend – as seen in other studies regarding customer behavior during the pandemic, time spent with streaming video and TV, including pay-TV on-demand, has increased.
However, the percentage of Americans who say their favorite way to spend an evening is watching TV has been declining through the years. Gallup’s historical data shows that in 1964, nearly half (48%) of Americans said their ideal evening was spent watching TV, but by 2015 the share of Americans who still preferred to spend their evening watching TV was at an all-time low (16%). Whether this downward trend will resume post-pandemic is yet to be seen.
Beyond staying in with family or watching TV, Americans also cited resting/relaxing (10%), reading (6%), outdoor activities such as walking or going to the park (5%), entertaining/visiting with friends (3%) and doing crafts (3%) as favorite ways to spend their evening.
From a marketing perspective, looking at the different ways American adults prefer to spend their evenings can help marketers create messaging that resonates with their target audience in a more personal way.
About the Data: Results are based on telephone interviews of 1,034 US adults (18+) conducted May 28-June 4, 2020.