U.S. Consumer Say They Now Spend As Much Time on the Internet As They Do Watching TV

For the first time ever, U.S. consumers report spending an equal amount of time using the Internet as they do watching TV. According to a report released by Forrester today, Gen Xers now claim to spend more time online than watching TV and Boomers now report spending an equal amount of time on both activities. Senior Boomers still report watching more television, and Generation Y has long reported spending more time online.

Forrester’s Jackie Rousseau-Anderson notes that the metrics are self-reported and differ from Nielsen and Comscore‘s. What’s important here is that more people perceive themselves to be spending equal amounts of time online and watching TV. Also noteworthy is that consumers don’t report spending much less time watching TV, just more time online.

Rousseau-Anderson also notes that for the most part people aren’t reporting watching less TV, so all that extra Internet time must be coming from somewhere else. Consumers are spending less time with print media, so that might be where some of the time is coming from. But it’s likely that quite a bit online time is actually spent multitasking.

U.S. consumers are also reporting spending more time using the mobile Internet. Forrester has classified mobile Internet users into three categories: social, information, and media users.

Forrester’s research follows debate about whether “cord cutting” is or is not a myth. The Forrester report supports the notion that consumers aren’t cutting the cord yet, and are merely supplementing their TV watching with the Internet.

However, TV and the Internet are converging. Netflix recently signed a deal with Disney to to provide hundreds of movies and TV shows through its streaming service.

It wasn’t clear to me whether Forrester counts streaming media over the Internet as TV or Internet time.

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