Despite the rise of mobile devices in recent years, there has always been one undeniable truth: TV was always king of media consumption. According to Nielsen’s most recent Total Audience Report, that truth is now beginning to fade.
While American adults on average still spend roughly twice as much time watching TV as they do using apps or browsing the web on their phones, that no longer holds true for all age groups. Those aged 18 to 24 now spend significantly more time on their smartphones than they do watching traditional TV (both live and timeshifted).
As our chart illustrates, TV remains the most important screen for everybody else, but it is the beginning of a paradigm shift that will likely see television lose the position it has held for decades. Smartphones, tablets and online services will gradually change people’s media consumption habits until eventually, the idea of having to sit down in front of the TV at a fixed time to watch anything but live sports will be nothing but a distant memory.
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