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Summary:

Couch potato, meet laptop junkie: Americans and Canadians now spend just as much time online as they spend in front of the TV screen, according to a new Forrester survey. Around a third of consumers watch video online, but mobile TV is still small.

family watching TV

Americans and Canadians now spend as much time online as they spend watching TV, according to a new Forrester report, which puts the number for both forms of media at 13 hours per week. The time spent online has grown more than 120 percent since 2005, whereas the time spent watching TV only grew five percent in the same time period.

The growth is driven in part by a usage shift for people aged 31 to 44, who for the first time, now spend more time online (17 hours) per week than in front of the TV (14 hours). People aged 45 to 54 also embrace the Internet much more than before, now spending 14 hours in front of the web browser as well as the TV.

These trends also have a direct impact on online video. 33 percent of consumers in the U.S. and Canada now stream video online, compared to 16 percent three years ago. However, the lust for video isn’t permeating to non-PC devices just yet: Only eight percent of all mobile consumers watch TV or video on their handset.

Forrester’s data is based on voluntary surveys of individual consumers in the U.S. as well as in Canada, which explains why there are discrepancies when compared to data coming from Nielsen. The latter estimates that U.S. households watch about five hours of TV a day.

Picture courtesy of Flickr user brizzlebornandbred.

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  1. No mention of time spent gaming? Interesting.

  2. Unless you are a ISP, the phrase: “Using the Internet” describes nothing. I mean, there is a fundamental difference between for example reading a serious newspaper online and using youtube as a powered up musical radio for partying.
    More descriptive would be saying: reading newspapers, or reading news, and then, if it’s relevant, specifying how that info reaches the recipient: a guy with a bell outside shouting events? somebody dropping a paper with written info? wireless download to an e-reader? conventional PC and conventional internet service?…and so on.

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