According to Nielsen’s latest Three Screen Report, overall electronic media consumption is going up and up — but that’s not because we’re sacrificing TV time to go online. Instead, TV consumption is at an all time high: 141 hours per month, an average of 4.5 hours a day per viewer.
At the same time, the number of people watching mobile video is up 70% from last year, and people watching video online have increased their viewing time by 46% since 2008 (83% of that time is spent on YouTube).
The savior for TV has been the DVR. Timeshifting our favorite shows is letting us watch more TV on average and still spend more time on the Internet, mobile phones, playing video games and watching movies. The other thing that’s allowing us to keep the TV on is heavier media multi-tasking: people using the Internet at home spend one third of their time online while in front of a TV, frenetically shifting attention from one screen to the other.
What are these figure telling us? First, we love TV. A lot. We love it so much that even with an array of engaging media technologies surrounding us on all sides, we’re actually increasing how much TV we watch.
Second, it’s clear that of the multitude of things we like to do online, we REALLY like to watch videos. What was the world like before YouTube? Does anyone remember? And it’s not enough that we can watch 137 varieties of Psycho Cats online at home or work — we also need to see those evil little suckers on our phones.
Third, full media convergence keeps getting closer and closer…maybe…but even if it never arrives, that’s not going to stop us. Despite advances in convergence technology, a TV is for the most part still a TV, and we love that thing like we love to breathe.
Overall, the message of the statistics is this: when it comes to content, video is king. No matter the pipeline delivering it, we want our video and we want it now, and TV is still the pipeline we love the most.