WTF? Nielsen Says People Spend More Time Watching TV Than Working

Mar 22nd, 2010 | By | Category: Commentary, Internet TV, Video

Many Americans spend more time watching TV than they do working, according to The Nielsen Company.

According to Nielsen, Americans are watching more and more television –  seven hours a day or more.

Other highlights of Nielsen’s research:

  • Online video consumption is up 16% from last year;
  • 44% of all online video is being viewed in the workplace; and
  • Active mobile video users grew by 57% in the last year.

I’m skeptical about Nielsen’s statistics.

No one I know watches anywhere near 7 hours of television/day.

In fact, with the rise of Internet video, podcasting vlogs, YouTube – most people I know are spending a lot less time with passive media. The people I know are actively choosing the content they engage with, through Internet video, podcasting and social media.

Which means that for Nielsen’s numbers  to be right, a new breed of uber-couch potato that watches TV 14 hours a day must silently be on the rise.

Americans Are Insatiable TV Lovers

Here’s what Nielsen has to say about the trend.

“The initial fear was that Internet and mobile video and entertainment would slowly cannibalize traditional TV viewing,” according to Nielsen’s Matt O’Grady, “but the steady trend of increased TV viewership alongside expanded simultaneous usage argues something quite different.”

“It seems that, for the foreseeable future at least, America’s love affair with the TV will continue unabashed,” adds O’Grady. “We seem to have an almost insatiable appetite for media, with online and mobile programming only adding to it.”

Sounds almost like they get paid to ask questions that support traditional media ad rates, doesn’t it?

Full stats below. Check them and and let me know if you believe that people are really spending more time watching video than they are working!

Persons 2+ Watching TV and Using the Internet SimultaneouslyAt Least Once Per Month At Home
Dec 2009 June 2009 Dec 2008 % Diff Yr to Yr
% of Persons Using TV/Internet Simultaneously 59.0% 56.9% 57.5% 2.7%
Estimated Number of Persons Using TV/Internet Simultaneously (000) 134,056 128,047 128,167 4.6%
Time Spent Simultaneously Using TV/Internet Per Person in Hours:Minutes 3:30 2:39 2:36 34.5%
Average % of TV time Panelists spent also using the Internet 3.1% 2.7% 2.4% 29.7%
Average % of Internet time Panelists spent also using TV 34.0% 27.9% 29.9% 13.9%
Source: The Nielsen Company
A Week in the LifeWeekly Time Spent in Hours:Minutes

By Age Demographic 4Q 2009

K2-11 T12-17 A18-24 A25-34 A35-49 A50-64 A65+ P2+
On Traditional TV 25:17 23:24 26:14 31:58 35:40 42:38 47:21 34:37
Watching Timeshifted TV 1:33 1:15 1:28 2:58 2:44 2:22 1:10 2:04
Using the Internet 0:24 1:21 3:45 5:20 6:35 4:53 2:17 3:56
Watching Video on Internet 0:04 0:15 0:39 0:35 0:33 0:17 0:06 0:22
Mobile Subscribers Watching Video on a Mobile Phone n/a 0:21 0:08 0:06 0:01 <0:01 n/a 0:04
Source: The Nielsen Company

Image: videocrab

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2 Responses to “WTF? Nielsen Says People Spend More Time Watching TV Than Working”

  1. I think it may be a case where people have the TV on while they’re doing other things like cleaning or browsing the Internet. Then there’s those who use the TV as a babysitter.

    • elliot says:

      Do advertisers seriously think that anybody really watches that much TV?

      I can imagine people using TV like a radio, but not actually watching that much.

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