business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Nielsen is out with new research about how - and how much - American adults interact with media … and the numbers are a little Eye-Opening.

For example:

• “Nearly half an adults’ day is dedicated to consuming this content. In fact, American adults spend over 11 hours per day listening to, watching, reading or generally interacting with media. Behind this surge are the growing use of new platforms, as well as the younger, multicultural generations who leverage them.”

• “Live + time-shifted TV viewing and radio have remained consistent over the measured quarters—a testament to the relative stability to these cornerstone media platforms. Radio alone reaches 92% of adults on a weekly basis; live and time-shifted TV has a weekly reach of 88%.”

• From fourth-quarter 2017 to first-quarter 2018, daily time spent on devices such as game consoles and internet-connected devices (such as Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV) by adults “increased by five minutes to about 40 minutes. Specifically, 14 of those minutes are dedicated to game consoles, while 26 belong to internet-connected devices.”

• “Though older generations generally spend the most time with media (adults 35-49 spend over 11 hours a day on it, while adults 50-64 do so at a nearly 13-hour clip), younger generations are at the forefront of TV-connected device and digital usage. Radio is uniquely  immune to having age as a factor. It consistently accounts for between 14%-17% of daily media use.”

• “Overall video use—time spent with a TV set, computer video and using video focused app/web on smartphones and tablets—netted out to nearly six hours per day for U.S. adults during first-quarter 2018. Compared with the previous quarter, this viewing time increased by 11 minutes, with six of those minutes stemming from TV-connected devices.”

Fascinating stuff.

I have a few thoughts.

First of all, these are adults. Maybe we have to finally dispense with the notion that adults always have to tell kids to get off their devices. (Of course, we don’t know how much more time kids are spending on their devices…)

There’s a reason that that companies like Amazon and now, apparently, Walmart, are investing money in media businesses. They know that these are both ways to strengthen and lengthen their interactions with customers, and how much competition there is and will be for eyeballs. In the future, this may end up being a significant competitive advantage.

Finally, I could not help thinking, as I read the research from Nielsen, about the every existence of this data. Sure, Nielsen has been accumulating this kind of stuff for years, but in this context, I think it serves as a reminder of how important accurate, actionable data is for retailers, if they;’re willing to actually act on it.

It’s all an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: