Simultaneous Web/TV use up, says Nielsen

In Q4, partnered use increased 35%

NEW YORK -- Americans increased their use of the Internet while watching TV in the final quarter of 2009, according to the latest Nielsen Company Three Screen Report. It also found an overall uptick in media usage.

In the fourth quarter, simultaneous use of the Internet and TV reached 3.5 hours a month, up 35% from the previous quarter. Nearly 60% of TV viewers used the Internet once a month while also watching TV, the report found.

"The rise in simultaneous use of the web and TV gives the viewer a unique on-screen and off-screen relationship with TV programming," said Nielsen Company media product leader Matt O'Grady. "The initial fear was that Internet and mobile video and entertainment would slowly cannibalize traditional TV viewing, but the steady trend of increased TV viewership alongside expanded simultaneous usage argues something quite different."

Here are other highlights from the Nielsen report:
* The typical American consumed almost 35 hours of TV a week (+1% over the previous year), two hours of time-shifted TV (+25%), four hours of Internet, 22 minutes of online video (+16%) and four minutes of mobile video.

* "TV viewing keeps increasing, partly because of a better viewing environment that includes more convenience (DVR), a higher-quality experience (HD programming and flat screen TVs) and the ubiquity of digital delivery, which delivers more TV channels to the home."

*  Traditional TV viewing continues to happen mainly in primetime, while online video viewing has its primetime between noon and 6pm, peaking at 4pm. Most online viewing happens at the workplace - 44%.
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