Nielsen: Americans watching more online video

Smartphones, tablets encourage cross-generational multitasking
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Nielsen's latest Cross-Platform report has some interesting, albeit not unexpected, perspectives on Americans and their online viewing habits, starting with the fact that U.S. consumers are spending at least five more hours per week watching online content on a PC screen.

On the other hand, live TV and video on TV continued to dominate viewing habits, with Americans spending more than 34 hours per week in front of TVs watching traditional TV and DVDs and playing games, wrote Dounia Turrill, cross-platform practice lead at Nielsen and the report's author, noting that "a growing amount was delivered by Internet connection."

In addition to watching more video on their PCs, consumers are increasingly using tablets and smartphones that are "proving to be new, novel and potentially necessary utilities, aiding us in connecting with people and content we desire," Turrill continued.

The report's conclusion credited these new devices with breaking down multiple barriers and making Internet connectivity more democratic.

"These devices are enabling a new trans-generational community of connected consumers that crosses age, gender, race and ethnic lines to truly participate in the multitasking that used to be reserved only for the young or tech savvy elite," Turrill wrote, noting that smartphones have greater than 50 percent market penetration and tablets are nearing 20 percent of U.S. TV homes.

Connected devices, she added, "are omnipresent and not just among the young. Today over 39 percent of people use their smartphones at least once a day while watching TV, 62 percent say they do this multiple times a week and 84 percent at least once a month."

In total, Turrill wrote, the plethora of new connected devices and the opportunity to look for content to view on those devices is "pointing to continued increases in media consumption [where] consumer choice is driving more than watching."

For more:
- read this Nielsen cross-platform report

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