Smartphones killed the television star. Nielsen’s “Total Audience Report” analyzed how U.S. consumers across generations are accessing entertainment. Focused on the first quarter of the year, the report looked at the behavior of Generation Z, Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomers and the Greatest Generation to understand the similarities, disparities and overarching consumer media preferences.
The authors of the report reviewed how much time the differing demographics spent on various platforms including live television, apps and web on a smartphone, game consoles, DVD or Blu-Ray devices, AM/FM radio, Internet on a desktop computer, apps and web on a tablet, and multimedia devices such as Apple TV. Though live television or time-shifted TV from DVRs remained the top form of favored entertainment, the amount of time spent declined across age groups.
App and web traffic increased across both tablets and smartphones — the latter nearly doubling the amount of time in some cases. Baby Boomers increased their daily time from one hour and 20 minutes to nearly two-and-a-half hours on smartphone apps year-on-year. Millennials remained the power users of the bunch — upping time spent on smartphone apps from two hours and one minute to two hours and 51 minutes year-on-year.
Collectively for the first quarter, individuals belonging to all generations received most of their weekly entertainment via live TV or time-shifted TV — nearly spending 31 hours on the platform. Apps and web sites were the second-most popular form of entertainment, securing 16 hours and 16 minutes of weekly time. Though roughly half of the live TV platform, it’s important to note that smartphone app and web site time well exceeded desktop entertainment and game consoles — a popular item among Gen Zers.
What’s more, live TV and DVR options dropped year-on-year. In the first quarter, individuals spent 31 hours and 50 minutes on the entertainment format. Meanwhile, apps and web traffic on smartphones increased compared to last year’s first quarter — individuals dedicated 11 hours and 36 minutes.
This seesawing of preferred entertainment formats not only serves as a signal to marketers of how to allot investments in their mobile initiatives — a well-established understanding — but showcases a mechanism to harness comprehensive data on smartphone behavior. As shopping continues to shift to the device, brands well-equipped with rich insights into shopper behavior will be outfitted with actionable next steps to secure and maintain consumers.
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