Simultaneous Media Use on the Rise

Nielsen: Adults in the U.S. spent almost 10 and a half hours a day with media in the second quarter of 2018

Choice has always been coveted among consumers. When it comes to the media universe, the abundance in devices, services and content has never been more prevalent, which in turn is opening up a complex web of consumption behaviors. With all of this technology at consumers’ literal fingertips, which of these platforms are they focused on?

The answer, in short, is pretty much all of them.

According to the most recent Nielsen Total Audience Report, adults in the U.S. spent almost 10 and a half hours a day with media in the second quarter of 2018, even as the effects of seasonality played their typical role. With the vast amount of time Americans spend using their devices throughout the day, it is inevitable that some of this usage is occurring simultaneously. So even though these audiences are dedicating hefty amounts of time to different platforms like live/time-shifted TV (nearly five hours per day), radio (nearly two hours per day), and digital devices (over three and a half hours per day), they’re combining consumption in a multitude of ways.

When looking at the relationship between TV and digital platforms, 45 percent of respondents watched TV while using digital devices “very often” or “always,” according to a custom survey of Nielsen’s Media Enthusiast Community. Nearly a third reported using both platforms “sometimes,” while only 12 percent never use both at the same time.

On the other hand, some simultaneous actions likely present a challenge for audiences to process multiple messages at once. For example, audio and TV are less correlated, with only 6 percent often watching and listening to different content at the same time. And over half never use TV and audio simultaneously at all.

The advent of digital platforms, such as smartphones and tablets, have changed the way consumers interact with and consume media. Specifically, they’re using digital platforms in tandem with TV and audio to augment their overall experience. With the internet and social platforms readily available to consumers, many are favoring distinct digital behaviors to accompany their consumption of TV and audio.

Read more at Nielsen.com/us/en/Insights.html.