Pretty soon we’ll all be watching tablets instead of televisions

Old TVs

Remember the good old days spent gathered around the TV for some major cultural event, like the Olympics, the Super Bowl or the last episode of Seinfeld? According to a new report, those days are officially over.

The report from eMarketer says that this year for the first time, people in the U.S. will spend more time with digital media per day than with TV. According to eMarketer’s estimates, the average adult will spend over 5 hours a day online, compared to 4 hours and 31 minutes watching television. That would be a slight decrease from last year for daily TV time,  and about a 16% rise for digital media consumption.

emarketer study

What’s with the shift? Mobile, mostly. This is the first time eMarketer has included time spent with smartphones and tablets in its overall digital time figure. But either way, there has been more than a 30-minute increase in time spent with digital media each year since 2010, when the average amount of time spent online was 3 hours and 14 minutes.

It should also be noted that the majority of mobile time is being spent on smartphones, at 1 hour and 7 minutes per day, with tablets close behind at 1 hour and 3 minutes. Since 2010, mobile activity has grown from just 24 minutes per day to a whopping 2 hours and 21 minutes.

Of course, a lot of this is due to the increased availability and usage of smartphones and tablets, but also because we lead increasingly mobile lives. For many people, being online means just another day at the office. And really, who has enough time to sit down and watch an entire game when you can just catch the highlights on YouTube the next day?

This is a really interesting study, and one that I find certainly holds true for me. If these trends continue, traditional television will go the way of the LaserDisc.

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