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Americans watching more TV in more places

With help from new and diverse technologies, people are watching television shows on a broader scale than they previously did.

Nielsen shows television viewership is alive and well in the U.S.
Nielsen shows television viewership is alive and well in the U.S. Nielsen

More Americans are checking in on their favorite shows this year, a new report from Nielsen has found.

According to Nielsen, the average American spends 159 hours watching television in the home, along with 4.5 hours of content on the Web. They watch another four hours of video on their mobile devices. Those aged 65 and older spend the most time each month watching "traditional television," tallying nearly 221 hours of total viewership. Kids between the ages of 12 and 17 watch the least amount of television programming each month, viewing just 107 hours of content.

All told, nearly 289 million Americans watched television in the home in the first quarter of 2011, up 0.8 percent compared with the first quarter of 2010.

When it comes to time shifting, the process of watching programs after they've aired live with the help of a recording device like a DVR, people between the ages of 25 and 49 trump all other age groups, spending 14 hours watching time-shifted programming each month. A total of 107 million Americans time-shifted during the last quarter, representing a gain of 13.2 percent, compared with the first quarter of 2010.

Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 spend the most time watching television shows on the Web with nearly 8 hours of total viewership each month. Nielsen said that 142.4 million Americans watched video content on the Web last quarter, up 4.8 percent compared with the first quarter of 2010.

However, mobile-video viewership stole the show in Nielsen's report. The organization said that in the first quarter, 28.5 million Americans watched video on a mobile device, representing a whopping 41 percent gain over the 20 million who did the same in the first quarter of 2010. According to Nielsen, kids between the ages of 12 and 17 were most likely to watch mobile video, tallying nearly 9 hours of viewership each month.

Nielsen's study isn't necessarily breaking any new ground with its revelation on mobile video viewership.

Just yesterday, Epix, a joint venture between Paramount Pictures, MGM, and Lionsgate that offers films through a broadcast channel, video-on-demand, and streaming, found that younger film viewers are increasingly turning to mobile platforms to watch movies. In fact, people between that ages of 25 and 34 are 24 percent more likely to watch movies on iPods, and 21 percent more likely to watch films on tablets and smartphones, than those who are 35 to 64.

Nielsen also examined which products Americans currently have running in their homes to help them consume content. According to the company, nearly 100 million Americans had at least one DVD or Blu-ray player in the home during the first quarter, while 43.6 million folks had a DVR. Nielsen found that 75.5 million consumers have an HDTV in the home, and 49.7 million Americans had a video game console.