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Kid Insight

Isn’t it ironic? Tablets and VOD are helping traditional TV

With mobile usage among kids soaring and on-demand deals popping up daily, it's easy to forget about good old TV for a minute. But Americans surely haven't. In fact, according to Nielsen's December 2013 cross-platform report, traditional TV is the most-consumed form of media among all demographics by a long shot. However, what's being viewed as the largest areas of growth this past year is the usage of VOD, as well as ownership of tablets within TV-watching households.
December 12, 2013

With mobile usage among kids soaring and on-demand deals popping up daily, it’s easy to forget about good old TV for a minute. But Americans surely haven’t. In fact, according to Nielsen’s December 2013 cross-platform report on media consumption patterns, traditional TV is the most-consumed form of media among all demographics by a long shot. However, what’s being viewed as the largest areas of growth this past year is the usage of VOD, as well as ownership of tablets within TV-watching households.

Currently, the average American is consuming close to 60 hours of content each week across TV, radio, online and mobile. And 35 of those hours are being spent in front of the television, a little more than five hours are used on the computer surfing the the internet, 1.5 hours are spent watching video online and 1.3 hours are devoted to consuming videos on mobile devices.

Among kids, those aged two to 11 are clocking close to 25 hours a week watching traditional TV, two hours watching DVD or Blu-Ray, close to 2.5 hours using a videogame console, 22 minutes using the internet on the computer, and 11 minutes watching video online. As kids become teens, those numbers see a significant shift down to 21.44 hours spent per week watching TV and up to four hours playing videogames, 47 minutes using the internet on a computer and 21 minutes watching video online.

Interestingly, and not surprisingly, kids two to 11 are spending 2.20 hours per week watching time-shifted TV compared to teens who are watching 1.55 hours a week of this kind of on-demand content. Americans as a whole are spending 12.5 hours watching time-shifted TV per month, and a total of 25 minutes per day watching DVR playback. That’s up from 16 minutes in 2009.

“We’ve found that binge-viewing is totally impacting regular TV viewing in that it helps live TV viewing,” says Brian Hughes, SVP of audience analysis practice lead at New York-based media insights firm Magna Global.  “Look at Downton Abbey. It has a big word-of-mouth following, and people binge-watch in order to catch up, and then they can watch the series in real time. And anecdotally speaking, kids don’t know the concept of live television.”

According to Magna’s own October 2013 internal report on time-shifted viewing patterns – a first for the company – VOD usage was found to be more prominent with younger viewers – and adults 18 to 24 tend to view more TV content via VOD rather than through DVRs. Overall, it contributes as much as 15% to the live + 7-day rating (12% among adults 18 to 34)

Also seeing major growth in the past year is the number of TV-watching households that are using tablets. The report shows that 17,315 TV-owning households also had tablet devices last year, with that number growing to nearly 30,000 in 2013. As for growth among mobile device usage, Nielsen has found that teens are by far consuming the most video content on their mobile devices, spending a total 8.28 hours per week. That’s still two hours more than the second-most active video-watching group, which is the 18 to 24 set.

“The work we’ve done internally looking at tablets shows that when you’re watching video at home in a comfortable place, it’s actually preferred than on the go,” says Hughes.

About The Author
Wendy is Kidscreen’s Associate Editor. When she’s not sourcing material for the brand's daily email newsletter, she’s researching, writing and connecting with others about the newest trends in digital media. Contact Wendy at wgoldman@brunico.com.

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