The Latest Trends from Nielsen’s Total Audience Report

By Charlene Weisler

Nielsen just released their findings from their latest quarterly Nielsen Total Audience Report (3Q18) which shows continued audience shifting and digital transformation in content preferences and streaming services. The report, according to Nielsen, contains, insights on how people are choosing the content that they’re streaming, as well as a section that examines which attributes of streaming services are the most important to consumers as well updates on traditional and digital media platform usage.

The highlights include:

Streaming Devices and Services Continue to Grow September 2017 to 2018

  • Enabled smart TV penetration grew to 41% in 2018 from 32% in 2017 as users continue to replace their older television sets. Enabled smart TV ownership had the largest year-over-year growth for all races and ethnicities
  • Internet enabled TV-connected devices — enabled smart TVs, internet connected devices (i.e. Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV), and enabled game consoles—are in 68% of U.S. households, up from 63%.
  • Streaming Video on Demand (SVOD) content is in 67% of television households, compared to 61% one year ago. Year over year growth is occurring among households of all races and ethnicities. Eight out of ten Asian American, seven out of ten Hispanic, and six out of ten Black households subscribe to an SVOD service.
  • But there is only so much time in a day. U.S. Adults spend 10 hours and 30 minutes per day connected to media, the same amount as one year ago.

While Adoption of Newer Devices Has Increased, So Has Their Usage—Regardless of Age.

  • Time spent on TV-connected devices and app/web on smartphones increased across all demographic groups. Time per day on smartphones increased by 23 minutes for adults 18-34, more than any other group or platform. And even older demographic group’s share of daily time spent with TV-connected devices and app/web on a smartphone increased from Q3 2017 to Q3 2018.
  • Adults 18-34 spend over one-third of their daily media usage on smartphones while Adults 50-64 spend more time per day on media in general than any other age group.

Inundated with Choice, Streaming Video and Audio Users Are Making Their Preferences Known.

  • According to the MediaTech Trender Survey, two-thirds of audio (67%) and video streaming (66%) users are influenced by recommendations from family and friends when making streaming selections. Meanwhile, 67% of video streaming users and 56% of audio streaming users refer back to existing programming they used to watch or listen to on broadcast media as that content is now more accessible.
  • Users want access to a broad variety of content (57%) while using technology and an interface that is easy to navigate (56%). Niche content is also desirable, as 43% want access to local programming, 38% are looking for specific networks, and 35% want the ability to stream live sports.

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