The amount of time US viewers spend watching online video and mobile video is growing rapidly – but still accounts for a small fraction of total video content viewing.

That’s the conclusion of a study into how people spend their time consuming media, including live TV programming, time-shifted television, DVDs, video games.

Another key finding was that households buying a new HDTV viewed more live TV – up to double – initially, but that over time, this increased usage began to subside.

Jim Spaeth, of Sequent Partners, which collaborated with Ball State University’s Center for Media Design on the Video Consumer Mapping Study on behalf of the Nielsen-funded Council for Research Excellence, said the results showed that the amount of time Americans spend watching online video is vastly overstated.

He told MediaPost that the new findings indicate that even the relatively small amount of time Americans spend watching online video has been, on average, grossly overstated by conventional forms of media research and audience measurement.

"This may be the first study to document the dramatic overstatement of online video and mobile video," he said.

The project, which cost USD $3.5 million to field, directly observed how people spent their day using media.

Conversely, Spaeth said traditional TV viewing has been "pretty drastically under-reported" by research that asks people how they consume video.

Subscribe to our Newsletter