Thursday, January 12, 2012

More People Own TVs Than Cellphones

It's been estimated that out of the 7 billion people on this planet, 2 billion of them own cell phones. But in the US, the cell phone still is not as popular as the one common object statistically found in every household - the television.

According to Nielsen, 290 million Americans in 114.7 million households own at least one TV. If you compare that with the 234 million cellphone owners, the 211 million Americans who are online, and the 116 million (ages 13 and up) who surf the mobile web, television is still the medium of choice for most people of all ages.

Want some more stats? Nearly one-third (35.9 million) of TV-owning households have four or more televisions (wow!), and only 17.5 million households have exactly one television.

So what do these figures mean? First of all, cellphones are still a growth market. We keep hearing that mobile is the future, and it surely is for audio, picture and the Internet. There may come a time when most of our consumption may be on handheld devices, but that time is not now. Of course, if the new OLED televisions as thin as wallpaper come down in price, all bets are off.

But more than anything, these statistics tell us that television is still the major media consumption device in our lives, bar none. Sure, it's losing it's power to other devices, but that's because we're becoming a multi-device culture. But don't underestimate the TV's power, because it's still there and will continue flexing its muscles for a long time.

Consumer Media Usage image from Bobby Owsinski's Music 3.0 blog

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wabaus said...

Thanks for the great info.

In a high school or college history class (late 80's, early 90's) we saw census data showing more households with TVs than with indoor plumbing :\

I love podcasts, and my daughter listens to audio books. But at family entertainment time, TV is king. Netflix is now beating cable for our attention. I've heard Netflix accounts for 1/3 of prime-time internet traffic (but have no source for the claim).

With most TVs, Blu-rays, and game consoles tying to Netflix, YouTube and other aggregators, the small guys have a shot at the largest screen in the house.

I've played everyone from MarinaV and Matthew Ebel to Diego Stocco and Sam Phillips on my TV.

Bobby Owsinski said...

Agreed. There's a certain democracy that's now taking place in the living room that we haven't experienced before.


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