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Online Video Is Mass Medium Now, Nielsen Study Says

10/24/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

Internet video streaming is officially
mainstream — with 48% of U.S. consumers now watching
some video online — but TV remains the great American
pastime, according to Nielsen’s quarterly report on
media consumption.

Monthly time spent watching traditional TV in the
second quarter climbed 1.9%, to 146 hours and 20 minutes,
a year-over-year increase of 2 hours and 43 minutes
of monthly viewing, according to the Nielsen Cross-Platform
Report for Q2 2011.

By contrast, time spent watching video on the Internet
was 4 hours and 26 minutes per month on average,
up 15% from a year ago — but just 3% of the time parked
in front of the TV.

And Americans watch more than four times as much
time-shifted TV — on DVRs and video-on-demand — as
online video, according to the Nielsen study.

Compared with the second quarter of 2010, time-shifted
TV viewing rose 11% among all TV homes, primarily the result
of increased DVR penetration. The share of TV households
with a DVR increased to 39%, up nearly 13% year-over-year.
Over the past two years, timeshifted
TV viewing per month
has jumped 31%, Nielsen said.

Broadband penetration
continued to grow, with the
number of households that
have both pay TV and broadband
up 6.6% year-over-year.
About 72% of U.S. TV homes
pay for both a cable, satellite
or telco TV subscription and
broadband Internet, according
to Nielsen.

Cable’s share of TV households
was 55.4% — up from
53.4% a year ago — while telcos’
share was 5.6% (down from 6.9% last year) and satellite
TV represented 29.7% (down from 30.5% last year),
based on Nielsen’s National People Meter panel.

Broadcast-only homes represent 9.3% of TV households.
The number of broadcast-only homes in the second
quarter was 11.1 million, up slightly from 10.9 million
a year ago, Nielsen found.

Meanwhile, Internet video streaming
is still concentrated among a group
of hard-core users: 83% of all streaming
takes place among the top 20% of consumers
who watch online video. The heaviest
online-video users watch an average of 18.9
streams per day, amounting to 58.7 minutes.
The next quintile watches 2.6 streams
on average for 39 minutes daily.

Consumers in the East South Central region
(Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and
Alabama) spend the most time watching
video on the Internet, according to Nielsen.

In other local data points, Nielsen found
that consumers in the South spend the
most time watching TV, with New Orleans
taking the top spot as the city that watches the most
primetime TV.

Baltimore has the highest video-game console penetration,
and Dallas has the highest DVR penetration.
Boston households have the highest Internet-enabled
computer penetration, according to Nielsen, while
Miamians are most likely to have a mobile phone.

4 hours,
26 minutes

Average amount of time U.S.
consumers spend watching
Internet video per month, up
15% from a year ago.

SOURCE: Nielsen Cross-Platform
Report for Q2 2011

September