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This article was published on February 9, 2012

    Americans spend 33 hours a week watching TV, and broadband sees streaming gain ground

    Americans spend 33 hours a week watching TV, and broadband sees streaming gain ground
    Paul Sawers
    Story by

    Paul Sawers

    Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.

    According to Nielsen’s latest cross-platform video report, Americans now spend more than 33 hours each week watching video across all screens, but how they’re consuming this visual content – be it traditional TV or online – is changing.

    The report indicates that 75.3% of Americans are now paying for broadband Internet, representing a rise of just over 4% on last year’s figure. A whopping 90.4% of TV households pay for cable, telephone company-provided TV or satellite TV, whilst households with both paid TV and broadband Internet rose by 5.5%.

    Curiously, homes with just broadband Internet and free (non-subscription) TV have increased by almost 23% in the past year, though they still represent less than 5% of all US TV households. These households stream twice as much video online as the general population, though they only watch half as much TV overall, perhaps because they have less quality channels to choose from.

    This is an interesting trend for sure. Though they do represent a small fraction of the population at present, it does signify a slight shift away from the traditional TV model, suggesting that people are moving towards the Web for their TV. And yes, this figure doesn’t fully consider whether they’re consumers cutting off their subscription TV, or former broadcast-only homes that have decided to jump on the high-speed Internet bandwagon.

    As you can see from Nielsen’s chart here, broadcast-only/broadband homes are streaming more TV each day, but they’re still spending most of their time watching traditional TV, with 11.2 minutes spent each day streaming compared to 122.6 watching a TV. So it seems the shift still has some way to go, but it’s edging there.