Viewers’ Shift From Traditional TV To Digital Accelerated In Q3: Nielsen


Nielsen has more bad news for traditional TV providers: The decline in conventional television viewing accelerated Q3, the ratings company says this morning in its latest quarterly Total Audience Report (the new name for what used to be called the Cross Platform Report). It shows that people spent an average of 141:19 hours a month watching traditional television, a 5:42 hour drop from the same period last year.  The 3.9% fall contrasts with the 2.7% year-over-year slide in Q2. About 1:08 likely went to viewing on DVRs or VOD; time-shifted TV increased 8.6% to 14:20 hours of monthly viewing. Use of DVD and Blu-ray players dropped 2.5% to 5:16.

But almost all of the rest of the viewing time appears to have gone to Internet-fed devices. Internet video viewing (including Netflix and YouTube) soared 4:01 — or 60% — to 10:42. Smartphone video viewing added 21 minutes to 1:46, +24.7%.

“The growing penetration of new devices and the popularity of subscription based streaming services, time-shifted and over-the-top viewing — as well as cord-cutting and cord shaving — are fundamentally changing the TV industry,” says SVP Dounia Turrill.

Several media moguls say that the ratings service has been too slow to measure people who view their shows away from the TV set. Turrill diplomatically says that “media companies, digital players and measurement are at a crossroad” and Nielsen intends to “create an environment where all video content can be consistently measured with ratings for both the content and the advertising.”

Beyond video, the biggest change in Q3 media usage was the amount of time people spent with smartphone apps. That increased 11:51 from last year, to 47:35 — a jump of 33.2%. People spent 8:14 with game consoles, a 15.7% boost. Computer Internet usage was up 11.3% to 10:06. But AM/FM radio listening declined 3% to 58:53.

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