Friday, March 11, 2011, 10:22 AM ET|Posted by Will RichmondA industry friend passed me a copy of PwC's new research on viewership across platforms and by age groups this week, which shows a vastly changed landscape for entertainment consumption. On the top line, the research reports that consumers are watching 12.4 hours/week of TV and movies via download, streamed, digitally recorded and online, vs. 8.9 hours of TV and movies on network TV and basic cable. When looked at by three age groups, 18-34, 35-44 and 45-59, only the latter category watches more network TV/cable, and only for TV shows, not movies (see chart below).
The research is a startlingly different picture from what Nielsen reports each quarter; most recently it showed over 154 hours of TV watched in the home per month with just over 10 hours per month of timeshifted TV. At first blush, it's hard to reconcile the differences in these numbers, but as one colleague pointed out to me, the PwC report is probably the first credible research that's surfaced that challenges Nielsen's numbers. No doubt others will follow, all of which suggests that executives at media companies need to be very alert to different research approaches, and learn to meld them in order to form an accurate picture of what viewers are really doing.
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