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U.S. media usage - time spent watching television 2014-2021

Daily time spent watching TV per capita in the United States from 2014 to 2021 (in hours.minutes)

by Amy Watson, last edited Sep 11, 2019
U.S. media usage - time spent watching television 2014-2021 Estimates suggest that in 2019 U.S. adults will spend an average of three hours and 35 minutes watching TV each day. This figure has continually fallen since 2014 and the downward trend is forecasted to continue in the years to come, with daily averages falling from around four hours and 20 minutes in 2014 to three hours and 20 minutes in 2021.

Screen Time

Although average daily time spent watching TV appears to be decreasing, this doesn’t necessarily mean that people are spending less time in front of screens; this drop is likely due to an increasing amount of time spent with phones, tablets, and laptops. With on-demand streaming services such as Netflix gaining massive popularity, people can watch a huge range of programming whilst on the go, meaning that screen time is no longer limited to time spent at home in front of the TV. Young people around the world have been especially quick to adopt smartphone-based video streaming habits meaning that television screen time will likely fall even further in the future.

Television in the U.S.

As mentioned above, the way people are consuming their video entertainment content is rapidly changing in the United States. By 2021, estimates suggest that less than half of U.S. households will continue to pay for traditional TV services. In order to compete for people’s business, cable and satellite providers must find a way to adapt in a way the meets the needs of today’s increasingly mobile consumers. Some are launching their own streaming services in a bid to tackle cord-cutting, most notably Comcast and AT&T.
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Daily time spent watching TV per capita in the United States from 2014 to 2021 (in hours.minutes)

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