Ad Week

By Mark Dolliver

NEW YORK Despite the proliferation of things to watch via computer and mobile device, “traditional ‘live’ television remains the proverbial ‘800-pound gorilla’ of the video media arena.” So says a study conducted by Ball State University’s Center for Media Design and Sequent Partners. (The research was conducted on behalf of the Council for Research Excellence, funded by Adweek parent the Nielsen Co.)

The study’s researchers observed participants’ “screen time” throughout the day, tracking interaction with everything from TV to computers to mobile devices to in-cinema movie screens and recording time spent on each in 10-second increments.

The average adult in the study spent 309.1 minutes per day watching live TV, vs. 14.6 minutes of playback via DVR or TiVo and 22.9 minutes using DVD or VCR. Participants’ computer screen time averaged 142.5 minutes a day, including Web usage, e-mail, instant messaging, computer video and “any software.” The mobile total, including mobile talk as well as mobile Web and video use, was 20.2 minutes on average.

Even among the study’s 18-24-year-olds, the average amount of time per day spent watching live TV (209.9 minutes) surpassed the total amount of computer screen time (169.5 minutes). The time spent using mobile devices was highest in this age group, but (at an average of 42.8 minutes per day) was still a fraction of the amount of time these people spent gazing at a TV set. The 18-24s also had the largest amount of time spent watching video via computer, but the figure was minuscule, averaging 5.5 minutes per day.

Among other tidbits from the research: The average participant was exposed to 72 minutes per day of TV commercials and promos.