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Multiplatform viewing grows but TV still rules

Nielsen survey finds 7% gain for PC video consumption

New Nielsen data sees signs of growth for video consumption across digital platforms, but still nowhere near TV levels.

Video consumption via either PC or mobile phones amounted to over four minutes per user per month in the third quarter of last year, a far cry from the over 146 minutes of TV watching in the home by the same measure, according to the “State of the Media: U.S. Digital Consumer Report Q3-Q4 2011” issued Thursday.

However, watching TV in the home was up less than 1% over the same quarter in 2010, while the 4 hours and 31 minutes of viewing registered by video viewers on the PC was up 7.1%. Mobile-phone viewing was flat at 4 hours and 20 minutes over 3Q’10, but the 12-17 demo is watching more on mobile phones than on PCs — unlike all other demographics.

Still, video consumption pales in comparison to non-video habits including social networking, Web surfing, text-messaging and e-mailing on both PC and mobile phones. Just 4.3% of time on PCs is devoted to watching video and movies while only 2.3% of mobile time is devoted to music and video apps.

Video consumption is more common on mobile phones than handheld multimedia devices, tablet or video game systems regardless of continent, with Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific all reporting similar trends. One-fifth of respondents to a Nielsen survey in North America reported watching video on their mobile devices daily.

On PCs alone, YouTube remains the dominant choice, commanding 44.7% of online video time. Netflix finishes at 10.7%, followed by Hulu (6.9%) and Vevo (3%).

The growth of subscription VOD consumption was noted in the research, with 33% of U.S. consumers reporting having streamed a movie or TV series through services such as Netflix or Hulu Plus. By comparison, only 14% report having paid to download a movie or TV series to own.