nScreenMedia OTT multiscreen media analysis

Four ways home entertainment has changed in the last year

The home entertainment experience continues to shift toward connected viewing. Here are four ways that experience has changed in the last year.

All of the following data is drawn from Nielsen’s Q1 2019 Total Audience Report.

The living room becoming increasingly connected

“Old” video devices are declining; connected video devices are growing. The DVD/Blu-ray player is in full-scale retreat, with the number of TV households owning one dropping 5%, to 61%. The DVR also suffered a small 1% decline and now appears in 54% of TV homes.

On the other hand, connected TV devices continue to grow strongly. The number of TV homes with an enabled smart TV increased an impressive 8%, to reach 47%. Penetration of streaming media players like Roku and Apple TV (which Nielsen calls internet connected devices) increased 3%, to 41%.

More people learn to live without traditional linear TV

Nielsen says that the number of TV households with a conventional cable, satellite, or telco TV subscription declined 4.6% over the last year. However, vMVPDs like Sling TV and YouTube TV partially made up the difference. TV homes with one of these services increased by 2%, to reach 5.3%. Homes using over-the-TV ticked up 0.3%, to 13.3%.

TV homes relying entirely on broadband (and without a vMVPD subscription) logged a 2.3% increase over the last year to reach 8.5%. However, it would be wrong to say these homes watch no linear TV at all. FAST services like Pluto TV and Xumo come built into many smart TVs and deliver a selection of linear TV channels. As well, subscription services like CBS All Access also provide access to local CBS TV stations, though there is no documentation as to how many customers watch them.

Video reaches more 18-34-year-olds on smartphones than TV

If you want to reach an 18-34-year-old with video, the smartphone might be a better target device than TV. Live+time-shifted TV reaches 54.8 million young people, versus 57.4 million that use a video focused app or website on their smartphone. That said if your video is longer television might still be a better option. Those watching video on their smartphone watch for four hours per week, whereas those watching regular TV was four-times longer.

Smartphone app/web usage taking time from TV for 18-39s

Time spent with live and time-shifted TV declined broadly over the last year. Nielsen some of the decline down to the fact that people watched more TV in Q1 2018 due to the winter Olympics. That said, the decrease in the under-35s seems particularly extreme. 18-34-year-olds watched 17% less regular TV, or 1 hour 54 minutes per day. 34-49s watched 10% less, or 3 hours and 43 minutes per day. The average adult watched 4 hours and 27 minutes in Q1 2019, down 7% on the year before.

Time spent on smartphones using apps and websites grew an astonishing 37% among 18-34s, who are spending almost twice as long with the smartphone than regular TV. 35-49s increased usage 29% and are spending as long with their smartphones using apps and websites as with regular TV.

Nielsen provides further confirmation that the smartphone is becoming the way we go online. Last week, I looked at data from Pew Research that shows 37% say they mostly go online using their smartphone. Among 18-29-year-olds, 58% say the same.

Why it matters

The home entertainment experience continues to move toward connected platforms.

The DVD player is disappearing fast from homes across America.

More people are leaving the traditional linear TV experience behind than ever.

More 18-34-year-olds watch video on a smartphone on regular TV.

Time spent with a smartphone is exploding, as time spent with regular TV continues to decline.


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