Cord-cutting doesn’t mean divorcing your TV set, new Nielsen study says

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We may be the cord-cutting generation when it comes to cable providers, but according to a new report from Nielsen, we haven’t cut the cord when it comes to how we watch our content. As per Nielsen’s fourth-quarter 2016 Comparable Metrics Report, more than 92 percent of all viewing among American adults aged 18 years and older happens on a TV screen. So while Netflix may have replaced Cox Communications, your laptop screen has yet to best your widescreen.

The analysis took a close look at total gross minutes of content viewership across TVs and TV-connected devices, as well as PCs, smartphones, and video tablets in the last three months of 2016. And although viewers are certainly turning to a wider range of devices when it comes to their entertainment, adult consumers are still very much tied to their television sets.

“The fact of the matter is that viewers use the TV screen for the bulk of their viewing and spend more time doing so than all the other platforms combined,” said Tom Ziangas, senior vice president of research at AMC Networks. “Sure, viewers have more options today, but when looking at platforms in a comparative fashion, it’s clear that consumers choose the television as the primary vehicle for content,” he added.

Indeed, TVs were far and away the favorite of American adults, with more than 82 percent of viewing happening on TVs and an additional 10 percent happening on TV-connected device screens. PCs came in at a distant second with just over 5 percent of viewing, and smartphones actually edged out tablets at 1.8 percent and 0.7 percent respectively.

As Peter Katsingris, Nielsen’s senior vice president for audience insights, noted, “What we found was that contrary to the popular narrative that smaller screens were taking away time from the TV glass, when we looked deeper we found that overall time spent viewing on the TV had the most minutes among every age or ethnic demographic looked at.”

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