Is Online Video a Replacement for Television?

Television remains the No. 1 media and the No. 1 advertising spend recipient in nearly every market in the world. However, online television use is growing, particularly among the young. While online television won’t replace traditional TV any time soon, it will be a competitor for audiences and for advertising budgets for the foreseeable future.

According to GlobalWebIndex, global television viewers spent an average of 2.5 hours per day watching TV from 2012 to 2014. Meanwhile, online television usage continues to grow steadily, from just over half an hour per day in 2012 to almost three-quarters of an hour in 2014.

060616Younger viewers are spending more time and are more likely to access online TV. Thirty-one percent of those ages 16 to 24 report they spent more than an hour, while 30 percent say they do not watch any online television. Meanwhile, only 9 percent of those ages 55 to 64 say they watch one hour or more of online TV, while 67 percent say they do not watch at all.


A host of digital devices and platforms are used to access video. In the United States, the fastest growing devices and platforms on which to access video includes broadband-only homes, which is installed in 3 percent of homes and grew 122 percent from Q3 2013 to Q3 2014.

Meanwhile, enabled Smart TV is installed in 13 percent of homes and surged 78 percent from 2013 to 2014. Tablets were used by 46 percent of adults, and usage grew 59 percent during that time frame, while smartphones were used by 75 percent of adults, and usage grew 15 percent during that time, according to “The Total Audience Report,” by The Nielsen Company.


Traditional television and radio still rule when it comes to time spent watching and listening, however, the time spent is slowly eroding. According to The Nielsen Company’s “The Total Audience Report,” the amount of time spent on a variety of media during the day has increased several minutes from Q3 2012 to Q3 2014, but TV and radio time has dropped by 18 minutes and 7 minutes, respectively, from 2012 to 2014.

Meanwhile, using time-shifted television, Internet on the computer, smartphones and a multimedia device all have increased in time spent, according to Nielsen.

For more information, or to download the executive summary of the 2015 Global Digital Media Trendbook, go to

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