Everyone Is Lying About Not Watching TV

Everyone Is Lying About Not Watching TV

Saying "I don't own a TV" is a good way to let people know that you're a pretentious arsehole. But even though more and more people are eager to tell you they don't "have TV," don't be fooled! You better believe that they are still "watching TV."

According to a new Nielsen report out today, Americans watch about 4.5 hours of television a day. That sounds like a lot! But that's only live TV. If you add in DVR time, that's over five hours a day.


Everyone Is Lying About Not Watching TV

If you look at the way the data has been trending since 2014, technically the time the US has spent "watching TV" on an actual television broadcasting content is going down, slightly. But the time devoted to "watching TV" on every other platform like a tablet or a smartphone is going up -- way up.

Everyone Is Lying About Not Watching TV

Look at the chunk of time spent on tablets and smartphones, it's more than double what it was in 2015. That's an hour more of total media time just since last year. So for some Americans that's a grand TV total of SIX HOURS PER DAY.

Another big milestone noted by the survey: For the first time, more than half of American households have some kind of streaming subscription like Netflix or Hulu (a category called Subscription Video on Demand or SVOD). DVR services are plateauing or declining. Which means people will probably start to spend even more time watching TV.

Everyone Is Lying About Not Watching TV

Surely millennials aren't watching TV, though, right? Because they're so busy doing other things like not driving and being poor? Nope. Millennials watch slightly less television (it varies depending on their living situation) but they are still watching about two-and-a-half hours per day.

Yes, the way we consume content is changing. But television remains our primary way to consume it. And anyone who says they don't watch TV is lying.


WATCH MORE: Entertainment News


    Is it so hard to believe in this age of plenty that people don't have other things to occupy their free time than watch TV?

    We have netflix here, and I'd say on average, I watch about 0 - 45 mins of TV per day. I do not watch free to air TV, and we don't have pay tv. I don't watch much youtube or twitch either.

    I sometimes watch TV via DVD/Bluray.

    What do I do with my "entertainment" time that isn't TV time? I play video games mostly, sometimes with my daughter on the xbox (minecraft mostly), but mainly MMORPGs on my PC, with some smaller amount of time spent playing mobile games. When I'm not gaming, I'm reading books - both the paper and electronic types.

    I'm sure plenty of people are in the same boat - the internet has greatly increased our content variety, and we're not longer tied to the TV (just like TV pretty much killed sitting around the radio listening to radio plays etc).

    oh but I don't....

    I only watch on-demand programming online.

    never lied about not having a tv but also not lying that i don't watch much now thanx to the crap that passes as entertainment and al i do now is use it to watch Netflix or bluray movies, only way i watch tv is if some of the old shows like starsky and hutch miami vice or hooker and so on and that is when i watch something on tv.

    Most people who say they dont watch tv just stream or download tv shows. Just because its not on Australian free to air, doesnt mean its not tv.

    The stats are slightly odd. Average american listens to radio for similiar time as they spend on apps/internet using PC/Mobile combined? This seems wrong, maybe US is diff.

    Lastly, we are Australian.

    Last edited 30/06/16 10:14 pm

    What the? I dont understand. How the hell does the average someone watch over 5 hours of TV per day???

    Where do these people get the time?

    I think I watch about 4-5 hours per week, and that's movies/series that I have on disk/HD, not normal TV...

    When people say they don't "watch TV" they mean traditional TV: the stuff piped to them on the box that they have no choice of what to choose apart from the time and the channel. To a lessor extent that includes pay TV.
    Broadcast TV is completely different in its programming to all those other formats mentioned. Maybe there is some crossover with a few prize shows that are still made for TV, but those only represent a small part of the output on broadcast TV, which is mainly about ads, entertainment news, advertainment, and reality TV.

    But I really don't watch it at all. I stream the occasional anime while I work or buy a movie over Google- not programmed TV.

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