The Media Mammoth: During the Rise of the Tablet, TV Still dominates

By January 11, 2013Mobile, Social Media

Marty McFly, 1955: “Yeah, you know we have two.”

He is referring of course to the number of TV sets in his 1985 household, amazing his teenage uncle whose family just got their first. Marty goes back, of course, to the future, but I’m sure his uncle would be even more amazed by a report recently put out by Nielsen about media usage over the past year, which revealed that 119 million American households now have four or more TV sets.

How far we’ve come since 1955.

The statistic indicates that, while usage of mobile technology (ie, tablets and smartphones) is resolutely on the rise, TV still takes the lead for viewing and recording programming, among other functions. Almost half of TV viewers do so using their DVR, three quarters of us now watch in HD, and a surprisingly paltry 4% now have internet-enabled TV’s (a statistic that, in my opinion, shows that we’re perfectly happy using our tablets while watching).

If looked at from a time-consumption standpoint, internet/tech is decidedly the David to the TV Goliath. We spend 28 hours a month on the net using a PC, 5 hours watching mobile video, 6 hours playing video games, and 5 hours watching DVD/Blu-rays. Time spent watching TV per month – 6 DAYS. Hail to the idiot box.

Social networking still soaks up free time regardless of media used, and the Nielsen report points out an interesting battle for that time. At a significant 20% of internet usage going to online networks, it’s no wonder Google continues to pump effort (my diplomatic term for money) into their social platform google+. While Google still trumps Facebook for online video usage, google+ only accounts for a quarter of our online networking time as compared to Facebook (a less significant margin of error accounting for “other” sites).

And while the thrust of the Nielsen report is TV usage dwarfing tablet usage, the momentous rise of mobile technology abounds, with tablets found in 16% of TV households. Even more noteworthy, tablet owners are brand loyal – 65% say they buy the “trusted” brands first. So while the Age of Television has not yet passed, the smaller screens’ progress is worth touching upon.

Another interesting factoid Marty’s uncle would be proud of – 55% of us still own a VCR. Top marks for nostalgia, America.

Now seriously modern tech, where’s my hover board?

Does TV still account for most of your media time? Let us know in the comments section below.


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