Field of Streams: Digital Video and Quality Content Have Driven Continuous Consumption

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If you build it, they will come. The iconic movie line has perhaps never been as relevant as when we apply it to the current video viewing landscape. After all, quality content these days can independently exist in a space where traditional TV is not the mother of ALL invention—just most of it.

According to Nielsen’s Q2 2014 Cross-Platform Report, younger viewers are watching less traditional television than in the past, but they’re consuming more overall video content. For instance, while the daily time spent with the TV screen for U.S. viewers 18-34 has decreased 10 minutes since Q2 2012, daily digital video consumption among that same demo has increased 16 minutes over that time period.

The buoying effect of digital video on overall content consumption takes place among older viewers, too. While the amount of time that consumers 50-64 years old spend per day viewing traditional TV is resilient, these viewers are adapting to new ways to view, which has added 10 minutes to their overall viewing time since 2012.

But it’s not just a young versus older story. This impressive growth in digital is even more marked among 35-49 year olds.

The rise in digital content represents a unique opportunity for video producers, TV networks, studios and pure-play digital players alike, all of which can leverage these platforms to deliver their content to consumers.

Overall, the recent Cross-Platform report found that American adults watched more than four-and-a-half hours of live television per day in Q2 2014 and about a half-hour of time-shifted content. That stands as evidence that television itself still boasts high penetration rates. In fact, 96% of U.S. homes have a television set, and more than one-third of U.S. homes have four or more TVs. Daily time spent using a smartphone has also seen robust growth over the past two years. In Q2 2012, U.S. adults logged 48 minutes per day on their devices. In Q2 2014, that number had climbed to nearly an hour-and-a-half—a 77% increase.

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