Americans spend more time with mobile screens than TV

Americans spend more time with mobile screens than TV

Americans' love affair with mobile devices is now official: According to market research company eMarketer, US consumers this year spent more time using their mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) than they did staring at their TVs. By contrast, in 2019, American adults spent nine minutes more watching TV than looking at their phones and tablets, eMarketer said.

However, "using" a device doesn't necessarily mean pointing one's eyeballs at it. eMarketer said that, in the smartphone category, people mostly used apps. The forecast estimates adults will spend an average of 3 hours, 43 minutes daily on mobile devices, not counting calls, and 3 hours, 35 minutes watching TV.

Meanwhile, millions of cord-cutting consumers have canceled their pay-TV subscriptions in favor of streaming services like Netflix and Hulu that not only provide on-demand video to connected TVs at home, but also to their mobile devices while they're on the go. In the third quarter of 2018, Nielsen said American adults on average spent 4 hours and 14 minutes each day on live or time shifted TV, 11 minutes less than a year earlier.

Over time, eMarketer expects the trend to continue.

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Seventy percent of that mobile time will be spent on smartphones, or 2 hours and 33 minutes a day. According to the company: "eMarketers methodology for its United States time spent with media forecast is based on an analysis of 2,265 metrics from 130 sources".

Audio, social are top mobile activities. "Soon-to-be-released streaming services from Disney, WarnerMedia and NBCU may allow them to monetize their content more effectively". However, when it comes to video, TV still dominates.

Traditional television networks and studios have launched or are in the process of launching their own streaming services in a bid to capture those consumers.

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