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Viewers Are Spending Less Time Watching TV, Movies

Pixabay
(Image credit: Pixabay)

LOS ANGELES—Consumers are spending less time watching TV and movies and more time playing video games and listening to music and podcasts, according to new research by Interpret, which is resulting in an increased diversity in time spent on consumer entertainment, particularly among young consumers.

Interpret’s study, Holistic Entertainment 2021: The Complete Consumer, reveals that the average weekly time spent on entertainment overall has increased by an average of five hours between 2019 and 2021. While TV and movie viewing hours increased, their growth has been significantly outpaced by other forms of entertainment.

The report found that:

  •  Broadcast and cable network viewing fell by approximately one hour per week during the period.
  • Hours spent on streaming services offset the decline in broadcast and cable TV viewing.
  • Music, gaming, and podcasts have become a larger share of consumer entertainment. Mobile gaming in particular has increased, with US consumers spending over 2 hours more per week on mobile games in 2021 than in 2019.
  • Reading physical media (printed books, newspapers, and magazines) declined in entertainment share, as did, not surprisingly, attendance at live events.

“Overall, consumers’ time spent on entertainment is becoming more diverse,” said Brett Sappington, Vice President at Interpret. “Movies and TV programming still represent the largest share of entertainment time, but other activities are rapidly encroaching. Young consumers in particular see gaming, short form video, and livestreaming as valid, even preferable, alternatives to premium video content. The industry must continue to push the boundaries of entertainment in order to engage with consumers and remain relevant over time.”

Interpret’s Holistic Entertainment 2021: The Complete Consumer is a syndicated consumer research study that examines consumer entertainment habits and spending over time. The study is based on online surveys of 9,000 US consumers from 2019 to 2021, and measures entertainment consumption across varying media and free time activities, including TV and movies, online activities, digital entertainment, physical media, exercise and outdoor activities, event attendance, social media, and other areas. It also explores differences in consumption among particular segments, including pay-TV subscribers, OTT subscribers, gamers, and differing age cohorts, including Digital Natives, Millennials, and Boomers.

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Technology (www.tvtechnology.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.