Consumers Spend More Than 5 Hours a Day Watching TV

5 Hours a Day Watching TV

If there’s one activity we’ve all done more of in the past year, it’s watching TV: over 5 hours a day. When the COVID-​19 pandemic started, we stayed glued to our TVs, taking in the last reports of the viral spread — globally and locally. And as we waited for news of lockdowns being lifted and vaccines being distributed, we distracted ourselves by keeping up with our favorite programming. If you’re selling TV space, you’ll be happy to see the latest research from the GfK TVB Media Comparisons Study 2021.

Media Platforms and Reach

The study takes into account the opinions of consumers ages 18 and up. Here are the platforms with the highest reach.

  • TV (broadcast/​cable) 80%
  • Broadcast TV 79%
  • Email 74%
  • Social media 63%
  • Search 60%
  • Cable TV 57%
  • Radio 48%

These numbers are impressive. The researchers also looked into how well the newer media platforms are doing. For example, podcasts have a reach of about 16% and advertising on this platform can help your clients reach niche audiences. Streaming programs on TV with ads reach about 26% of the population.

Consumers Spend More Than 5 Hours a Day Watching TV

In addition to reach, analysts also checked into time spent with various media platforms. It’s logical to think that the more time consumers spend enjoying specific forms of content, the more likely it is they will encounter and pay attention to advertiser messages. In 2020, TV ruled with consumers age 18 and up spending an average of 5 hours and 46 minutes with either broadcast or cable TV. Broadcast TV (3.45 hours) enjoys a higher daily average of consumer time than cable TV (2.01 hours). Social media is in third place capturing an average of one hour and 12 minutes of daily consumer time. As we’ve reported recently, consumers get an average of 121 email messages a day and that takes up another one hour and nine minutes every day. Streaming programs with ads (57 minutes) and radio (55 minutes) also account for a significant percentage of consumer media time.

The statistics gathered on daily media use imply that consumers may be enjoying more than one form of content at a time. For example, while they are watching TV, they may comment on an ad with friends on social media. They may also miss an ad entirely because they are working on email when the message appears on TV. This outcome isn’t what your clients want. Encourage them to cover their bases by buying advertising on more than one platform. If part of their target audience misses the TV ads, they might hear the message on radio. You can help your clients figure out which advertising formats are most effective by checking out the AudienceSCAN profiles available on AdMall by SalesFuel.

Local TV News is Trusted and Credible

The Media Comparisons Study also highlighted the value of local news. Consumers want to separate fact from fiction, especially when it comes to knowing about where to get vaccinated and who is eligible. The local news media has those topics covered. Encourage your clients to buy advertising during this content to reach the largest possible audience. These days, 75% of U.S. adults agree that local broadcast TV news is trustworthy. Similarly, they say the following news sources have credibility:

  • Locals newspapers 71%
  • Public TV news 68%
  • Network broadcast TV news 67%
  • Radio stations 66%
  • Local TV news websites/​apps 66%

Don't let your clients miss out on a great opportunity to connect with existing and new customers. Remind them to advertise on TV.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.