Study: People aren't watching less TV, they're just watching more video overall

New study reveals TV viewing habits.

The average person watches three and a half hours of TV every day, while spending another two hours a day watching content on smartphones, laptops and tablets, according to a new study by Clusters.

“A few years ago, we were hearing about the potential ‘death of the TV’, linked to an increased use in devices and generally busier lives. However, that simply hasn’t materialized. People are watching just as much TV as they always have done, but they are now watching it in very different ways and at different times,” said Chris Cowan, managing director at Clusters.

The results from the study segmented the population, based on the 1,000 person sample, into six TV viewing categories:

  • Device Hoppers: young and urban, multiple device users, watch TV ‘on-the-go’
  • Knowledge Hunters: conventional, socially active, watch TV to stay informed.
  • TV Escapists: TV set loyalists, laidback, watch TV to distract themselves from everything else.
  • Fans of the Familiar: settled in life, TV is a key part of their daily routine, never miss an episode.
  • Indifferent Onlookers: heavy viewers, watch alone, use TV as a way to pass the time.
  • Family Entertainers: housewives with young kids, family oriented, TV is all about spending time together.

According to the study, respondents stated that they think of TV in terms of channels or platforms, instead of genres. Additionally, 25 percent said they believe content was better now than five years ago, with another 11 percent believing it was a lot better now. The only age group to disagree was over 55 years old, with 35 percent saying that the quality of TV shows was getting worse.

“It’s interesting to see people referring to channels as opposed to individual shows when asked what they like to watch,” Cowan said. “This is a very powerful point for channels and brands. The role of brands is even important to signpost and recommend content, as the wealth of choice increases. Of course, we all have so much choice when it comes to TV. Almost any interest is now catered for.”

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