Traditional TV Taking A Backseat To Streaming, Gaming, Other Media Outlets
September 11, 2012

Traditional TV Taking A Backseat To Streaming, Gaming, Other Media Outlets

Lawrence LeBlond for - Your Universe Online

Most Americans who do not receive TV signals through the airways, cable or satellite signals still continue to purpose their sets for other avenues, according to a new report released today by Nielsen, the Associated Press reports.

As much as 75 percent of the 5 million homes that no longer use TV for traditional viewing in the US still use them for other media outlets, such as video gaming, Netflix or Apple TV, according to Dounia Turrill, senior VP for client insights as Nielsen.

Until recently, more than 99 percent of homes used their TVs for traditional television viewing. But within the past three years, these numbers started dipping, and now that number sits just below 96 percent. Turrill said the reasons could be economic--people who are struggling may choose to cut pricey cable and satellite bills and rely on the less expensive Internet options.

Nielsen is now considering a redesign of what it considers a TV household. This redesign would include people who stream media through Netflix and other similar services, Turrill said.

Nielsen found that consumers spent about 2 percent less time during the first three months of 2012 watching traditional TV than for the same time period for 2011. These people made up for traditional TV viewership by spending more time watching movies on their DVDs and DVRs, or through other media outlets, such as their computers and mobile devices.

Traditional video gaming has also changed, with more and more people now using their gaming devices as media outlets as well. Nielsen found that a growing number of Wii, Xbox and PS3 owners use these devices for accessing video, according to Turrill.

“The gaming devices are becoming entertainment hubs,” Turrill told AP´s David Bauder.

Microsoft's Xbox360 gaming console now offers a wide variety of streaming services: Xfinity, FiOS, Crackle, Amazon Prime, VEVO, YouTube, as well as music streaming. Even Facebook is now available on Xbox. Following the popular trend, many TV networks are also jumping aboard the entertainment hub bandwagon, including ABC, Comedy Central, and PBS.

There seems to be a flip-flop on television viewership now compared to 20 years ago when we didn´t have Internet, video streaming, mobile devices, iPads, and entertainment hubs. People over the age of 65 spend more time in front of the boob tube now, watching an average of 48 hours each week. Teens, on the other hand, now only spend about 22 minutes per week in front of the TV.

This is a big change from the days of yore, especially from the 70s and 80s, when most kids spent a good chunk of their weekend mornings in front of the TV watching cartoons.

The Nielsen study also found that blacks spend about 50 hours per week watching TV; whites spend about 36 hours; Latinos 30 hours; and Asians about 24 hours per week.