Traditional TV Remains a Key Media Focus for Most Consumers

Mon Oct 24, 2016

Kathy Crosett

Your clients are understandably obsessed about how much TV younger consumers are watching these days. Nielsen tvviewershas just issued its most recent audience report on this topic. Nielsen’s report tracks consumer behavior during the course of a 5-year period which gives us a picture of important media-engagement trends.

Between 2011 and 2016, TV viewing by 18 to 24 year-olds has definitely dropped. Comparing Q1 activity in each of those years, analysts explain that average weekly viewing has gone from 26 hours and 28 minutes to 16 hours and 18 minutes. That’s roughly a 40% drop over the measurement period. The better news is that the rate of decline has slowed when comparing this year’s Q1 TV average viewing to last year’s.

For Asian Americans in the 18 to 24 year-old category, weekly TV viewing is the lowest at 9.6 hours. On the other hand, Black Americans in the younger age group spend 31.9 hours a week watching TV. The TV viewing habit for Hispanic Americans falls in the middle at about 16 hours a week. These statistics are based on Q2 2016 survey data.

While younger consumers are shifting their attention to mobile devices, older consumers are increasing their TV time. For example, consumers over age 65 are watching 1.2% more TV per week when comparing Q2 data between 2015 and 2016. For the 5-year period that extends from 2011 to 2016, the increase is more significant amounting to a 5.1% growth rate. And, during Q2 this year, consumers aged 50 to 64 also increased their TV viewing by about 1%. These folks average 40 hours and 18 minutes a week in front of their TV sets.

The numbers above are based on live TV viewing. The typical media day for a U.S. adult breaks out as follows:

  • Live TV 4:09 (hours: minutes)
  • DVR/Time-shifted 0:30
  • AM/FM radio 1:52
  • Internet on a PC 0:57
  • App/Web on smartphone 1:43
  • App/Web on tablet 32
  • Other 34

The takeaway from this study is that TV remains a huge part of the media day for the average consumer. When you talk with your clients about what’s happening in the marketplace, remind them that an ad campaign which extends across traditional and digital TV may be most effective in reach younger consumers. And, when they’re targeting the over-50 crowd, TV is still the place to be.


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About Kathy Crosett

Kathy is the Research Director for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel.

View all posts by Kathy Crosett