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Nielsen: Traditional TV consumption massive; online video sideshow

"US Census Bureau voter statistics and recent Nielsen-measured data confirms the majority of American overwhelmingly choose television as their primary source for video viewing," says Steve Lanzano, President & CEO of TVB, the not-for-profit trade association of America's commercial broadcast television industry. "Nielsen's 4Q13 Cross-Platform Report, based on actual metered device usage, directly contradicts recent studies based on self-reported viewer data claiming voters are abandoning Television."

With a view to defending local TV stations' turf, Lanzano is challenging the widespread assumption that subscription, streaming and online video services are turning consumers away from tradition television consumption in drove.

TVB's analysis of Nielsen's data reveals Adults 35+, who make up the majority of voters in America (76%), spend only 3% of their monthly video consumption time with internet and mobile platforms. Even among young Americans 18-24 who spend the most amount of time of any age cohort with digital video (11%), television remains their primary source of video entertainment.

"It's widely known that claim-based data on video viewing is biased. The advent of metered data in more devices has allowed us greater accuracy in understanding true cross-platform behaviour," added TVB's Chief Research Officer, Stacey Lynn Schulman.

"The new data brought to light that viewers overstated their time spent watching video on mobile phones by 538% in the 4Q12 Report (1 hour 23 minutes of mobile video viewing in 4Q13, vs. previously claimed 5 hours 23 minutes in 4Q12). In the same reports, using metered data in the 4Q12 and 4Q13 periods, viewers spent more than 100 times more hours with television on a monthly basis than they did with smartphone video," notes Schulman.

Americans watched an average of 155 hours and 32 minutes of broadcast television a month in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the latest data from Nielsen. Comparatively, they averaged 7 hours and 54 minutes of monthly video via a videogame console (up 1 hour and 19 minutes from the same period in 2012). One hour and 23 minutes a month is spent watching video on a smartphone (up 23 minutes) and 7 hours and 34 minutes a month are spent watching video on the Internet (up 1 hour and 40 minutes over 2012.

Video streaming video is still a sideshow. Streaming video through a multimedia device reached 1 hour and 12 minutes a month, while using a connected DVD or Blu-ray player to stream content settled at 5 hours and 21 minutes (down 17 minutes).

Story filed 22.03.14

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