TV still king in US

07 May 2012

NEW YORK: Traditional TV remains by far the most-used video channel in the US, new figures from Nielsen, the market research firm, have shown.

According to the company's latest Cross-Platform Report, 284.4m users watched an average of 33 hours of TV per week during the last three months of 2011. This is a small drop from the 289.3m who did the same during the same period the previous year.

Adoption of time-shifted services and high-end TV platforms have helped to defend TV's position, with the number of HDTV-owning households rising just over 8 million to 80.2m over the year.

In all, 113.5m viewers accessed timeshifted TV during the three-month period, up from 105.9m in the last quarter of 2010.

Web-enabled games consoles have also become a "secondary gateway" for viewers to access video via their TVs, the report added. Nielsen data indicated that these devices are now present in just under half (45%) of the nation's households.

"The fact remains that Americans are not turning off," Nielsen said. "The TV screen remains the dominant platform on which to consume video content."

Despite TV's status as the primary video channel in the US, the report also noted advances in internet video accessed via desktop and laptop PCs, which attracted 147.4m viewers during the final quarter of 2011, up from 141.4m the year before.

Mobile also enjoyed significant gains, rising from 24.7m to 33.5m over the same period.

"With improving screens, Internet connectivity and the advantage of being 'the best screen available' while on the go, smartphones are increasingly becoming portable TVs," Nielsen added.

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff