With Video On Demand, Americans Watch More TV Than Ever

While Americans watched fewer minutes of TV this year than last year, time-shifted TV viewing has gone up by 15%.

TV chiefs who were worried that the arrival of on-demand TV would be the death of their industry need worry no more-with time-shifted TV, Americans are watching more shows than ever, says AllThingsD's Peter Kafka. Although Nielsen's most recent study showed that viewers were watching less TV than they were this time a year ago, the ratings firm did not taken into account that the use of video on demand has gone up by 15%.

According to the Nielsen study, Americans watch four hours and 18 minutes of live TV each day, a year-over-year decrease of six minutes. DVR and gaming minutes are up, while DVD use is static. Comcast, however, which is the country's biggest cable provider, claims that 70% of its subscribers watch on-demand video, with 40% of that being TV shows.

This is not all good news for the television industry. It needs to figure out how to rejig its advertising model, as the DVR allows people to fast-forward through commercial breaks and the arrival of the second screen allows them to ignore advertising messages completely. Hence the importance of Twitter to television—something Comcast has acted on—and hence Facebook's need to get its own hold on TV audiences.

[Image: Flickr user Luis Hernandez - D2k6.es]

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  • Anthony Reardon

    Absolutely. People are underestimating the power of "media" in social "media". So much talk about mobile today, five to ten years from now it's going to be an afterthought to programming for large flat screens that work across any device. The answer for advertisement model is simple. People don't want ads. So you need to turn to strategic and non-intrusive product/ service placement within interactive video media. But you don't have to take my word for it. Just mark my words.
    Best, Anthony