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U.S. Media Consumption and Multi-Tasking

Americans are increasing their overall media consumption, and media multi-tasking is a key part of the equation, according to the latest market study by The Nielsen Company.

During 2nd Quarter 2009, the number of people watching mobile video increased 70 percent from last year and people who watch video online increased their viewing by 46 percent compared to a year ago.

In addition, the average American TV consumption remains at an amazing all-time high (141 hours per month) -- compared to the same time frame last year. But, are people really paying attention to the television during all those hours? Maybe, or then again, maybe not.

"Although we have seen the computer and mobile phone screens taking on a significant role, their emergence has not been at the cost of TV viewership," said Jim O’Hara, President, Media Product Leadership, The Nielsen Company. "The entire media universe is expanding so consumers are choosing to add elements to their media experience, rather than to replace them."

Nielsen data also shows Americans are using DVRs more than ever, watching one hour more of time-shifted TV each month than a year ago. Currently, 30 percent of homes in the U.S. have DVR devices.

Other results of the Nielsen market study include:

- As Americans continue to watch more TV each year there are also more TVs in each home than people -- in 2009 the average U.S. home had only 2.5 people vs 2.86 television sets. 54 percent of Americans have three or more TV sets in the home.

- Online usage is relatively flat since last year, though more people are viewing video online than ever before. Certain age groups also view online video more than others do -- Adults 18-24 watch more than 5 hrs each month vs. Adults 65+ watching just over 1 hr of online video.

- Short form video (such as YouTube clips) still makes up the majority of online video viewing -- 83 percent in May 09 -- while name-brand TV network content comprises the majority of mobile video viewing.

- Younger demographics aren't using the Internet as much as older demographics, yet the growth rate of kids 2-11 online clearly outpaces the overall Internet penetration. The number of kids online has increased 18 percent compared to 10 percent growth for the total active Internet universe (P2+).

- Mobile video viewing continues its upward trend, with over 15 million Americans reporting watching mobile video in Q2 2009. This is an increase of 70 percent versus last year -- the largest annual growth to date.

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