Adults 50-64 Are Most Media-Connected Age Group, Nielsen Says

By Dade Hayes, Dawn C. Chmielewski

The average U.S. adult is now connected to media for 10 hours and 24 minutes a day, with 50- to 64-year-olds the most plugged-in age group, according to Nielsen’s latest Total Audience Report.

The verge-of-retirement-age set is connected to the Internet, smartphones, TV, connected devices and radio for 11 hours, 49 minutes daily. Contrast that with the highly prized 18-34 demo, which averages 8 hours, 8 minutes, about one-quarter of which is live and time-shifted TV.

Distracted viewing is the new normal. Nearly half of those surveyed — 45% — said they “often” or “always” used their smartphones or tablets while watching TV, suggesting their attention is divided between screens. That’s not the case when listening to radio.

Nielsen found a strong correlation between people’s TV viewing and their second-screen activities. Seventy-one percent said they were looking up information related to whatever they’re watching on TV. More than one-third of viewers (35%) are shopping for the products or services advertised on the big screen.

Even in a time of device fragmentation, primetime still reigns supreme. Adults spent more time immersed in media from 9-10 PM than at any other hour of the day. It’s the time of peak TV, when viewers spending well over half of their time watching live or recorded TV shows or interacting with connected devices such as Roku or Amazon Firestick.

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