Tech Talk: Americans Spend More Than 7 Days Every Month Watching TV, On the Internet

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January 8, 2013 ‐ By Kimberly Maul
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Nielsen released its US Consumer Usage Report 2012 and found that watching television is, by far, the most popular way consumers spend time with media.

On average, consumers spend six days and 54 minutes watching traditional TV (or 144 hours and 54 minutes) each month. Internet time on a computer is the next most popular media consumption activity, with the average consumer spending 28 hours and 29 minutes on the internet monthly.

According to Nielsen, 289 million people own at least one television set, while 212 million internet users are active online. Online, social networking is the top activity, with 20.1 percent of time online spent on social networks and blogs. On mobile phones, 14.1 percent of time is spent texting, 10.2 percent of time is spent on social networks, and 5.5 percent is spent actually using it as a phone.

While this data is interesting on its own, it all converges around social TV. Social TV, which has been defined as the intersection of television content and social networks, is generally used to describe the act of consumers using their computers, mobile phones, or tablets to discuss TV shows with friends on social networks, apps, and via texting. This can happen in real-time, which discourages time-shifted viewing, or at a later date.

Lost Remote, a blog exclusively about social TV, recently wrote nine predictions for social TV in 2013, including that cross-platform storytelling with mature, Netflix will make its services more social (which is already happening with a recent change in the law), and mobile will continue to grow in its use and influence on social TV.

As Nielsen reported, television viewing isn’t going anywhere, and while social media and mobile usage is on the rise, these types of media will all come together in social TV.

Do you chat about TV shows online while you are watching them? Do you see social TV as a big trend for 2013?

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