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.