This year, US adults will spend an average of four hours and five minutes watching TV each day – a 2.1% drop from last year.
However, according to eMarketer’s latest forecast on time spent with media, that’s still the lion’s share of Americans’ video-based attention every day.
Even at just around four hours, television commands 78.4% of US adults’ time spent watching video. By comparison, this year US adults will spend an average of just one hour and eight minutes a day watching digital video – including Facebook videos and clips – representing 21.6% of time spent with video overall.
eMarketer does expect TV interest to wane further – in 2018, it forecasts that US adults will spend just three hours and 55 minutes a day watching TV – dropping below four hours for the first time.
At the same time, growth in time spent with digital video will be driven almost solely by mobile, according to the report.
Last year, mobile video overtook desktop in the streaming stakes. And next year will be the last year of growth for time spent with desktop. After 2017, the average time spent with desktop video among US adults will begin to drop, the firm said.
Further, Americans aged 18 to 24 watch the least TV, and that figure is also dropping the fastest compared with other age groups. This year, Americans aged 18 to 24 will watch two hours and 22 minutes of TV, compared with six hours and three minutes for those 65 and over. However, time spent with traditional TV is dropping for every adult age group, not just millennials.
As people’s eyes shift away from TV to digital video, advertisers are following suit. Television still captures the majority of video-based ad dollars, but its share will fall from 39.2% of total media ad spending this year to 36.8% by 2018, eMarketer said. Meanwhile, digital video will capture 5.5% of total media spending this year, with that figure jumping to 6.7% by 2018.
In a December survey, eMarketer found that a fifth of US households will not subscribe to cable or satellite TV by 2018. The survey found that a growing percentage of American households are cutting the cable TV cord each year, and predicts that by 2015 4.9 million US households will unsubscribe from traditional pay-TV services. This would represent an increase of 10.9% over the previous year.