A survey released by Nielsen has found that Americans are using a range of media more than ever before, but their time is notably being dominated by traditional television still, despite other mediums rising in prominence over the past few years.
The recent report produced by the organisation behind the TV audience-measurement system Nielsen Ratings, looked at TV ownership and usage along with the same categories for popular forms of portable devices.
The main figure, which can be directly compared to the estimated population of the country (around 315m), claims that 289m Americans are owners of a minimum of one TV set, while 89% of those owners have two or more (48% owning 2-3, while 41% have 4+). Meanwhile, the other side of the main topic found that 278m Americans use the internet (based on a sample taken during September 2012), with 212m doing so primarily by a computer (compared to 66m with another device or product such as a smartphone).
While a majority of people owning TV sets and going on the internet is hardly surprising, the key figures, like those involved with smart TV sets, is how much they are all actually used. For TV in the country, the ‘average American’ spent 144 hours and 54 minutes (slightly over 6 whole days) watching ‘traditional TV’, compared with 28 hours and 29 minutes of internet browsing, 5 times less than television.
From that web-surfing time, it is estimated that 20.1% (the largest share) is taken up by blogs and social networking, while followed by online games (8.1%), e-mail (7.1%), and videos/movies (5.2%), with other categories filling up smaller amounts. The online videos section, though, is a notable one for the sole reason that an average of 5 hours and 51 minutes can be added to monthly ‘content viewing time’ when considering video seen by computer, and a further 5 hours and 20 minutes with mobile device videos also included. Completing the set, viewing of physical home media (DVDs/Blu-Rays) was at 5 hours and 13 minutes, representing a slightly greater preference for online streaming, but also notable for bringing the entire total of monthly video viewing to 161 hours and 18 minutes.
For a combination of the two competing household genres, it is still an unsuccessful piece of reading, with smart TV ownership currently at just 4% of all Americans for 2012, though that figure can easily expect to rise in the coming years. On the other end of the development scale for TV, it was also found that of TV owners, only 9% of households were exclusively ‘over-the-air TV’ (i.e. no pay-TV services), and while at least a small number will likely stay that way in future years, to what extent will the other trends develop?