Television consumption is a major part of media consumption in Western culture. Similar to other high-consumption way of life, television watching is prompted by a quest for pleasure, escape, and "anesthesia." Extreme dependence on television is actually an addiction to the prepackaged forms through which pleasure, escape, and anesthesia can be conveniently attained.


In the US, there is an estimated 119.9 million TV households in the TV season 2018/19. In 2017, an average U.S. consumer spent 238 minutes (3h 58min) daily watching TV. While overall media consumption continues to rise, live TV consumption was on the decline in 2016. In 2009 the numbers were generally lower but still amounted to 9 years in front of the screen for an average 65-year-old American (more than 4 h/day, 28 h/week). Given the 30% of local TV news broadcast time devoted to advertising, this results in 2 million TV commercials seen by the average person by age 65. An average child in the US will see 20,000 of 30-second TV commercials per year. The time spent watching commercials is reduced when watching recorded TV. It has even been surmised that due to media multitasking, TV commercials are largely ignored.

Change in consumption

With the growing effect of streaming sites and online television, there is an upward trend towards OTT (over-the-top) streaming sites, which causes a disruptive effect on cable television. In 2013, 63% of the households in the United States have been using a video streaming and delivery service, and 22% of those households watch Netflix every week of the year. In English Canada, Netflix is owned by 25% of households, and that increases to 33% for households with teens. Having the ability to watch commercial-free episodes at any given time and however and wherever the consumer desires, Netflix is shifting the way viewers consume television to a more digitalized, online manner.


Binge-watching can be defined as: "the experience of watching multiple episodes of a program in a single sitting." This phenomenon originated in the Digital Age when streaming videos became easily accessible due to the advancement in technology and the low costs of unlimited bandwidth. Binge-watching has initiated the notion that by using this style of consumption, viewers have a greater understanding and knowledge of the show and character development, versus viewers who don't binge-watch. This overall greater understanding of the viewer has caused program executives and scholars to create a deeper understanding of uses and gratifications to continue to motivate consumers to use this style of viewing. In the summer of 2013, all the episodes to Season 4 of Arrested Development (TV series) was released on Netflix, and 10% of their viewers watched the entire season in 24 hours. When House of Cards (U.S. TV series) and Orange Is the New Black also released full seasons at a time in 2013 on Netflix, high percentage of viewers watched back-to-back episodes and finished the seasons within days. Even though these series are all different genres, the truth of binge-watching remains constant widespread.

Television consumption and obesity

Across cultures, television consumption has been associated to cause an overweight, inactive lifestyle among high school students across The United States. From a sample of over 15,000 high school students, 43% of those students exceeded 2 hours a day of television viewing on a regular school day. Overall, 31% of the sample did not participate in daily physical activity, 11% were overweight, and 76% ate an insufficient amount of servings of fruit and vegetables. Watching television for 2 hours a day was correlated to being overweight and sedentary for White male and females, as well as Hispanic females. Among Black males, the amount of television consumption was associated with an increase on physical activity. There was no correlation for Black females and Hispanic males.

Television and body attitudes among adolescents

In a study of 1,452 high school students, there was an association between what type of television was consumed and the effects each genre had on the body image of an adolescent. It was found that time watching Soap opera had a direct correlation with a drive to thinness in both genders, and also the drive for muscularity in boys. Entertainment, social learning, and escape from negative effect are seen as the three main components of television usage, and other than entertainment, the components have a significant correlations to negative outcomes for both males and females. This study suggests that the correlation between negative body images among adolescents and television consumption is based on the types of content and motives for watching, not the total amount.

Crime shows and attitudes towards crime

As research has suggested, the majority of public knowledge about crime and justice is learned from the media. Since the study did not factor in the difference in types of crime and investigation shows, the study could not include insight on what type of crime show caused what behaviour/attitude. However, it concluded that regular consumption of various crime shows is not related to perceived police effectiveness and punishment-type attitudes, but is related to the viewers overall fear of crime. Also, the amount of time spent viewing these shows had no correlation to perceived police effectiveness, punitive attitudes, or fear of crime.

Global view

In 2014, counting all four possible "screens" (TV set, PC, mobile phone/smartphone and tablet computer) and taking into account time-shifted TV, the worldwide consumption had risen by 7 minutes over 2013. Slight decreases in North America and Asia were more than compensated by increases in Latin America and Africa. The most popular genre worldwide, according to observations at 2016's TV and digital content event MIPTV, is drama. The United States lead the global list of daily TV viewing time in 2015, followed by Poland, Japan, Italy, and Russia. According to other statistics, the UK was top, followed by the US, France, Indonesia, Kenya and Nigeria in 2014. In 2002, the US and the UK were ranked equal with 28 hours per person per week, followed by Italy, Germany, France, and Ireland. Besides the continuing slow decline in average viewing times for the traditional linear TV, ZenithMedia has predicted a decline also for the number of viewers in 2015 also As in the US, worldwide media consumption continues to rise, but live TV consumption was on the decline in 2015 and predicted to drop even further with a marked decrease from 2010 from 195.6 min/day to 179.5 min/day (~3 h/day, 21 h/week).

See also

*Digital divide *Internet television (Online TV) *People meter *Smart TV *Social aspects of tv *Streaming service *Television addiction *Television advertising *Television program *Television studies *TV formatting


External links

* * *{{cite web|url=http://insight.globalwebindex.net/media-consumption|publisher=globalwebindex.net|title=Digital Vs Traditional Media Consumption Q3⋅2015 / Analyzing time devoted to online and traditional forms of media at a global level, as well as by age and across countries consumption Category:Television studies