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It’s always been conventional wisdom that people watching TV don’t watch commercials. They flip channels, get something to eat or otherwise ignore the ads. In fact, it turns out the conventional wisdom is all wrong: TV advertising and program promotions reach 85% of adults daily, and viewers typically see 26 advertising or promotional breaks — accounting for 73 minutes — each day.
Younger adult viewers tend to watch more live television out of home than older viewers, according to a Nielsen analysis of the Video Consumer Mapping study conducted by the Council for Research Excellence (CRE). Nielsen found that adults age 18-34 are 26% more likely to be exposed to live TV out of home than 35-54 and 13% more likely than 55+.
What a viewer chooses to watch on TV outside the home is also a function of his or her age. In general, Nielsen found that younger out-of-home TV viewers watched more sports and entertainment programming, while older viewers outside the home skewed toward news broadcasts.
The CRE study was conducted by observing the media usage among participants age 18 years and older in five DMAs (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, and Seattle) in the spring and fall of 2008. The sample included 752 observed days for a total of approximately 750,000 recorded minutes.
A detailed look at the data lends insight into what people like to watch in different out-of-home locations. Entertainment and informational programming, for example, is most prominent at other people’s homes (52.6% of viewing minutes). But in restaurants, bars, and stores, 38% of all viewing minutes are devoted to sports programming. Meanwhile, viewers at work are equally split (in terms of live TV minutes viewed) between sports, entertainment, news, and advertising.
While viewers might be able to watch TV at out-of-home locations, they may not necessarily be able to hear what’s on screen. About one-quarter of live TV viewed at work is muted while almost 22% of bar and restaurant viewing takes place without sound. Only about one percent of viewing inside the home or at another person’s home is muted.
Download the full report Out of Home Television and Other Video Behaviors of U.S. Adults here.
A pioneering Video Consumer Mapping Study conducted on behalf of the Nielsen-funded Council for Research Excellence by the Ball State University Center for Media Design and Sequent Partners examined the current state of video media use by age group. Can you tell which of the following statements are true—or merely the media equivalent of “urban myths?”
by Susan D. Whiting, Vice Chair & Executive Vice President, The Nielsen Company
Of the myriad challenges confronting the television industry, the much-discussed defection by viewers to online and mobile platforms may be the most comforting; simply because it hasn’t happened. Despite the profusion of multimedia computers, broadband Internet connections and portable video devices, the overwhelming majority of Americans are staying right where they are – in front of their TV sets inside their homes. Read the rest of this entry »