Multichannel News –

by Kent Gibbons

Adults only spend an average of about two minutes a day watching computer video, compared with nearly six hours per day of television viewing, a new, large-scale study found.

In terms of video media consumption per day, the youngest group of baby boomers –those aged 45 to 54 — leads the way with an average of about nine and a half hours per day. That’s according to the $3.5 million Video Consumer Mapping study done for the Nielsen-funded Council for Research Excellence by Ball State University’s Center for Media Design and Sequent Partners. The study took a year and included 376 participants, organizers said.

Across all age groups, total screen time averaged about eight and a half hours daily, the study found.

Observers recorded consumer exposure, in 10-second increments, to visual content using handheld smart keyboards equipped with a custom media collector program developed by Ball State.

Content was broken into four categories of screens: traditional television (including live TV as well as DVD/VCR and DVR playback); computer (including Web use, e-mail, instant messaging and stored or streaming video); mobile devices such as a BlackBerry or iPhone (including Web use, text messaging and mobile video); and “all other screens” (including display screens in out-of-home environments, in-cinema movies and other messaging and even GPS navigation units).

The study generated data covering more than 750 million minutes, or a total of 952 observed days, and is described as “the largest and most extensive observational study of media usage ever conducted.”

Most video viewing is still done on the TV, despite the spread of Web video, video-equipped mobile devices and other media. That’s even true among those ages 18 to 24 (287 minutes) and 25 to 34 (321.2 minutes), the ones consuming the most computer video per day, according to the study.

Despite the spread of digital video recorders, adult TV users were exposed to, on average, 72 minutes per day of TV ads, which the study organizers said dispels a commonly held belief that modern consumers are channel-hopping or otherwise avoiding most of the advertising in the programming they view.

Adults 18 and older overall watch about 309 minutes of live TV per day, compared with 14.6 minutes of DVR or TiVo playback, 22.9 minutes of DVD or VCR viewing or 6.5 minutes playing console games.

Age makes a predictable difference in media consumption. The console game figure, for example, is 25.9 minutes per day among the 18-to-24 demographic, compared with three minutes for those ages 45 to 54. DVR/TiVo use is highest (19.4 minutes) among the 45-to-54 set.

Computer use is now the second-leading media activity (142.5 minutes per day), surpassing radio, even in major city areas, where commuter times can be long and drive-time radio remains popular. Print media consumption trails TV, computer and radio.

Nielsen said the findings were consistent with earlier studies that found television viewing remains the dominant medium.