Television

TV's popularity continues growing in the US despite new media threat

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MUMBAI: In its latest analysis Nielsen Media Research reports that average American television viewing continues to increase in spite of growing competition from new media platforms and devices, such as video iPods, cell phones and streaming video.

During the 2005- 2006 television year, which ended on 17 September, 2006, traditional in-home television viewing continued to hold its own with audiences, and even gained among technology-savvy teenagers.
These results come at a time when Nielsen is able to provide more granular information on diverse television viewing through its larger national television sample and other investments in research and technology.

The total average time a household watched television during the 2005-2006 television year was 8 hours and 14 minutes per day, a three minute increase from the 2004-2005 season and a record high. The average amount of television watched by an individual viewer increased 3 minutes per day to 4 hours and 35 minutes, also a record.

Meanwhile, during primetime, households tuned to an average of 1 hour and 54 minutes of primetime television per night, up 1 minute, and the average viewer watched 1 hour and 11 minutes, which was the same as last year.

Although teenagers typically drive the consumption and development of new media platforms, teens aged 12-17 viewed three per cent more traditional television during the full day than in the 2004-2005 television year. This increase was driven primarily by teenage girls, who increased their total day viewing by six per cent. Increases among teenage girls were particularly high during early morning (6 am to 9 am) and late night (11:30 pm to 2 am) viewing, which were up 12 per cent and six per cent, respectively.

Younger children age 2-11 also watched more television during 2005-2006, increasing their total day viewing levels by four per cent. Viewing by children increased three per cent during primetime, five per cent during early morning and six per cent during late night.

Nielsen Media Research senior VP planning policy and analysis Patricia McDonough says, ?These results demonstrate that television still holds its position as the most popular entertainment platform. At this point, consumption of emerging forms of entertainment, including internet television and video on personal devices seem not to be making an impact on traditional television viewing. This is especially true among teenage girls, who have shown significant increases in viewing during the past year.?

During the 2005-2006 television year, which ended on September 17, 2006, Nielsen Media Research says that it achieved a number of milestones that enabled it to provide even more precise information about television viewing. These milestones, which reflect Nielsen?s commitment to continuous improvement in television measurement, include:

The 2005-2006 television year was the first one in which Nielsen was able to provide ratings based on a 10,000 household sample. During the season, Nielsen completed the expansion of its National People Meter sample from 5,000 to 10,000 households. As a result, Nielsen?s sample now includes approximately 25,000 people.

This was the first season in which measurement of digital video recording was included in Nielsen?s estimates. As of September 17, 2006, 8.7% of Nielsen?s sample homes had digital video recorders.

Nielsen completed the roll-out of Local People Meters (LPMs) in the top ten local markets during the 2005-2006 television season. Nielsen also began to provide ratings based on its National People Meter sample for four Spanish-language national broadcast networks: Azteca America, TeleFutura, Telemundo, and Univision. Prior to this agreement, these networks had been reported solely within the Nielsen Hispanic Television Index (NHTI) service. Now they are being reported in the national ratings along with national general market broadcast networks.
Based on agreements concluded during the year, Nielsen will now provide ratings for 80 national cable networks, up from 78 a year ago.

During the 2005-2006 television year, Nielsen released a vastly improved version of NPOWER, Nielsen?s custom research service. It allows clients to analyze ratings on a minute-by-minute level; to determine the reach and frequency of all broadcast network, cable network and syndicated television programs; and to identify the ratings of all commercial minutes. With this new version of NPOWER, the average processing speed on most customized reports is now under a minute, and more complex reports take no longer than 10 minutes.

Also during the 2005-2006 television season, Nielsen launched its Anytime Anywhere Media Measurement (A2/M2) initiative, which will provide integrated, all-electronic ratings for television regardless of the platform on which it is viewed. Through this initiative, Nielsen will provide electronic measurement for video viewed on the Internet and personal media devices, as well as television viewed outside the home.

Nielsen will also begin reporting the ratings for the average of all commercial minutes in each nationally televised program rated by Nielsen. This step was requested by clients who want more detail on viewing levels of television commercials.

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