Netflix Users Watch Less Regular TV: Nielsen

Overall Daily TV Viewing Declined 1.9% in Second Quarter of 2012

Netflix subscribers watch 11% fewer minutes of television per day than nonsubscribers -- and their Internet video usage is a commensurately bigger chunk of their media diet, according to Nielsen.

In the second quarter of 2012, Netflix users watched an average of 246 minutes of TV per day, plus 41 minutes on video game consoles, 22 minutes on Blu-ray Disc players and 12 minutes on other streaming platforms.

That’s compared with 276 minutes of TV for non-Netflix users, 26 minutes on game consoles, 14 minutes on Blu-ray players and four minutes on other platforms, according to Nielsen’s Cross-Platform Report for Q2 2012.

Over all, TV viewing in the second quarter of this year declined about five minutes per day, or 1.9%, from the same period in 2011, to four hours and 18 minutes (258 minutes) across all television households. DVR playback increased from 20 minutes daily in the second quarter of 2011 to 22 minutes; video game usage was flat at 12 minutes per day on average.

Meanwhile, usage of mobile devices while watching TV is on the rise, according to Nielsen.

About 40% of tablet and smartphone owners use their devices while watching TV at least once per day, and 85% of them do so monthly. Of the 114.3 million TV homes in the U.S., more than 50% have smartphones and nearly 20% have tablets, according to Nielsen.

“Whether used to stay connected through social media sites, check email or engage in mobile shopping, the interaction between what happens on the TV screen and the mobile screen is creating opportunity,” Nielsen senior vice president of client insights Dounia Turrill wrote in the report.

The number of U.S. TV households declined by 1.37 million year over year in the second quarter of 2012, to 114.3 million, according to Nielsen.

Cable operators lost 2.7 million customers, with 59.3 million total in Q2 2012, while satellite operators picked up 173,000 (to 34.65 million) and telcos gained 1.2 million (to 9.27 million). Broadcast-only homes fell by 47,000, to 11.09 million, according to Nielsen.