As the media landscape continues to evolve, it provides consumers with a variety of options to customize their media use across television, radio and digital. Time spent with the television set is shifting, with consumers spending more time using TV-connected devices to stream content in addition to traditional TV. Similarly, smart home devices are changing the way people interact with technology, whether it’s to listen to music, give directives, or get updates on the latest news. More media content is also being accessed across digital platforms. Often, consumers multi-task, opting to use devices—simultaneously researching something they heard or saw, checking email, online shopping, or simply staying connected with others.
This iteration of the Nielsen Total Audience Report provides a seasonal look at usage as we now have four full quarters of data based on a common methodology. It’s important to note that seasonality plays a role across linear platforms, but less so for digital. Additionally, we outline what “prime time” is for each platform, giving us insight into time of day usage of different media devices. We also touch upon digital multitasking with linear platforms.
Media Usage by Time of Day
Access and convenience are two key factors that determine how people consume media at different times. So, is prime time still relevant in this era of device fragmentation? The answer is a resounding “Yes,” as adults spend more time on media from 9 p.m.-10 p.m. than any other hour throughout the day. Nearly 38 out of a possible 60 minutes are spent across live + time-shifted TV, TV-connected devices, radio and digital (computer, smartphone, tablet) during that time. The 9 p.m. hour is also peak viewing time for both TV and TV-connected device usage.
Radio is more closely tied to traditional business hours. Listening time peaks at 12 p.m. but radio’s share of total media time spent per hour is consistently at its highest between 7am and 5pm. Digital usage is also remarkably consistent for an even longer period of time throughout the day. There is less than a one minute fluctuation in time spent from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. From morning until night, the internet is an integral part of people’s lives.