Television’s share of time spent
connected to media fell to 39% in the first quarter of 2019, according to the latest installment of an ongoing tracking study from Nielsen.
The “Total Audience Report” found that the average U.S. adult 18 years or older spent four hours and 27
minutes daily with TV, vs. seven hours connected to other electronic media — web and app-based smartphones, tablets, computers, game consoles, other devices and radio — during the first quarter of
TV’s share of this Nielsen-defined audience universe has fallen 14 points from a 53% share of time spent connected to media in the first quarter of 2015, according to a Research
Intelligencer analysis of Nielsen’s reports.
One big reason for TV’s declining share, is the declining penetration of its primary distributors — cable, satellite and telcos — in U.S.
households. Year-over-year, multichannel TV’s share fell 2.6 percentage points.
Interestingly, as Americans continue cutting the cord, they are also beginning to utilize the original
television distribution platform more: over-the-air broadcasting. While it’s just a trickle of growth, over-the-air broadcasting, at least, is moving in a positive direction (see below).