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Global Media Intelligence 2021: United States

Key Features

Internet users spent 1 hour more with PCs and tablets each day than with live TV. But much TV and video viewing has moved to digital platforms.

  • Traditional TV put in a stronger performance this year than last, perhaps because the continuing COVID-19 pandemic boosted in-home viewing. In H1 2021, 83.7% of US internet users ages 16 to 64 had watched live TV in the prior month. However, the average time devoted to broadcast TV per day had fallen by 16 minutes, to 2 hours, 47 minutes (2:47). It was much lower than daily time spent with PCs and tablets (3:50).
  • Of course many viewers are no longer watching their favorite TV shows when they are broadcast. More than 62% of US internet users polled in H1 2021—and 72.0% of those ages 25 to 34—had watched programs via broadcasters’ catch-up or on-demand services in the previous month, and 60.3% had seen programs they recorded earlier.
  • In addition, most respondents were watching TV and movies via paid-for services, such as Netflix or Hulu. The share viewing subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) content rose by 1 percentage point between 2020 and 2021, to 82.0%—one of the highest penetration rates recorded in any country.


Ali Young


Anam Baig
Senior Editor
Joanne DiCamillo
Magenta Fox
Senior Chart Editor
Kathleen Hamblin
Chart Editorial Manager
Dana Hill
Director of Production
Erika Huber
Copy Editor
Hilary Rengert
VP, Research Strategy
Amanda Silvestri
Senior Copy Editor
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