Online Video Viewing Declines in Q1

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Maybe online video viewing isn’t growing as quickly as we thought. In fact, if the most recent stats from Nielsen are to be believed, it might be declining. According to the audience measurement firm’s quarterly Three Screen Report, the amount of time people spent watching video online in the first quarter actually dropped from the end of last year.

Consumers were found to have watched, on average, 3 hours and 10 minutes of video per month in the first three months of 2010, down from 3 hours and 22 minutes in the prior quarter. Online video viewing was still up year-over-year, with consumers watching about 10 minutes more video online per month than during the first quarter of 2009.

The sequential decline in video viewing came along with a general decline in the total amount of time people spent on the Internet each month. Consumers on average spent 25 hours and 26 minutes using the Internet on a PC, according to Nielsen, down from 26 hours and 32 minutes in the fourth quarter and 29 hours and 15 minutes a year earlier.

Meanwhile, people watched more TV than ever before. The amount of TV viewing consumers did increased by two hours per month, topping off at 158 hours and 25 minutes, on average. That increase might have come as a result of more HDTVs in U.S. households. Nielsen claims that more than half of all U.S. homes now have an HDTV and an HD pay-TV subscription.

The amount of TV that people watched on a DVR also increased, to 9 hours and 36 minutes, from 8 hours and 22 minutes the year prior. That increase not surprisingly came as a result of more people having DVRs in their homes. Now more than a third of U.S. households have a DVR, according to Nielsen.

While Internet usage declined and TV usage increased, the amount of time consumers spent doing both simultaneously increased. Consumers now spend 3 hours and 41 minutes a month surfing the web while watching TV, up from 3 hours and 21 minutes the year prior. Simultaneous TV watching now makes up a third of all the time that people spend on the Internet.

Picture courtesy of Flickr user Marco Raaphorst.

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