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GfK: Time Spent Watching TV is 16% Higher Than for All Other Media Combined

September 12, 2016 By Molly White in

Alternative digital TV and movie options continue to pressure incumbent broadcast networks. But newly released U.S. market research from GfK and TVB reveals that time spent watching TV is greater than for all other ad-supported media platforms combined.

U.S. viewers also consider local broadcast TV news more trustworthy than any other source, the market research partners highlight in a press release

In producing their ¨Media Comparisons 2016¨ study GfK and TVB compared ad-supported media platforms in terms of audience reach, influence, engagement and trust, as well as viewing time. TVB will be presenting key and comprehensive findings at broadcast TV industry conference Forward 2016 Sept. 29 in New York City.

Time Spent Watching TV

U.S. adults 18 and over spend nearly five hours a day on average watching traditional television, 16% more time than they do engaged with all other types of ad-supported media combined, according to the research results.

“While media proliferation continues, results from the Media Comparisons study again confirm television’s dominant position as a reliable, proven marketing solution that presents accountable, measurable advantages for brand managers, advertisers and political campaigns seeking to reach target audiences and influence decisions,” TVB president and CEO Steve Lanzano was quoted as saying.

Local broadcast TV news remains the primary and most trusted resource for news and information, while social media received some of the lowest marks,” he added.

Other key findings include:

  • Adults 18+ spend 4 hours and 54 minutes with television compared to the next three highest categories radio (62 minutes), e-mail (56 minutes) and social media (50 minutes)
  • Local broadcast TV news serves as the primary TV news source for 22% of adults 18+, compared with network TV news (14%), cable news channels (13%)
  • Broadcast news websites and apps serve as the primary news source for 10% of adults 18+, compared with all other internet news (8%) and social media (7%)
  • For digital news, 68% of adults 18+ cited local broadcast TV news websites and apps as the most trusted compared to all other Internet news (48%) and social media (31%)

All that said, U.S. TV households are increasingly turning to alternative, OTT and over-the-air (OTA) video services GfK found in a market research study released this July. 

No less than 25% have foregone cable or satellite pay-TV services and rely on OTT or OTA to satisfy their news, information and entertainment needs. Yet the percentage of U.S. TV households relying exclusively on over-the-air broadcast TV rose from 15% in 2015 to 17% this year, according to the GfK Home Technology Monitor 2016 Ownership and Trend Report.