Thursday, June 20, 2013

Television Time at Record High

Americans spent a record amount of time watching television in 2012, according to new figures from the American Time Use Survey. The average person aged 15 or older spent 2.83 hours a day watching television as a primary activity in 2012, up from 2.57 hours per day in 2003.

The American Time Use Survey has been collecting time use data from a representative sample of the public for 10 years. During that time there has been little variation in the percentage of people who report watching television on an average day, at about 80 percent. Those who watch television, however, are reporting doing so for longer periods of time. Viewing time climbed from 3.27 hours per day in 2003 to a record high of 3.54 hours per day in 2012.

One reason for the increased screen time of television viewers is the aging of the population, with older Americans watching far more television than younger adults. Other factors include larger and higher quality television sets (HDTVs), the ability to time shift through the use of DVRs, the greater availability of content through streaming, and the practice of binge viewing.

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