Advertisers Chase America’s Evolving TV Watching Habits

dreamstime_xs_35917050We still love watching television, but technology is rapidly changing our habits as binge watchers and cord cutters force networks, program creators and advertisers to adapt. Adult Americans watch about 4.5 hours of TV per day, although many appear to be doing much of it during weekend marathon sessions with their DVRs.

Long gone are the days when we were tethered to our televisions and at the mercy of network programming schedules of our favorite shows. We now have DVRs, TiVos and Roku boxes and subscription services such as Hulu, Netflix and Amazon streaming our shows over broadband and fast Internet connections. Finally, we don’t have to schedule our lives around NBC’s “Must See TV” night — we simply record the shows we want to watch, or now with Video on Demand, we can “time shift” our personal viewing to whenever, wherever. While “appointment television” once gave way to channel surfing, we are now practicing the ritual of “binge-watching,” where we devote hours of time catching up on our favorite series, at home or on the go via our mobile devices. The practice has boosted ratings for Mad Men and introduced new viewers to Lost.

This has caught the attention of TV producers who are retooling shows with marathon viewers in mind — enhancing scripts with richer character development and storylines, and eliminating pacing around commercial breaks.

As streaming services increase, some households are cutting the cord to traditional cable and satellite services, and watching shows through game consoles, Roku boxes or Apple TVs. All these changes are sending TV networks, media buyers and advertisers scrambling for a toe-hold. Networks are even integrating social media during live shows such as The Voice and Project Runway to capture younger demographics who multitask on mobile devices. Only time will tell how ever-changing technology and our interaction with it will take television watching trends next. Stay tuned!



  • Some 54% of American consumers are now on more than one content platform, such as desktop computers, smartphones, and tablets.(  
  • 23% of social media messages include links to content , including published articles, videos and photos. (AOL-Nielsen)
  • Blogs on company sites result in 55% more visitors, and companies with blogs get 97% more inbound links than others. (
  • Both business customers and recreational travelers indicated that wireless was the No. 1 priority at hotels and in the rooms and 34% of business travelers won’t stay at hotel without Internet. (
  • Consumers are spending time researching on their smartphones (15+ hours a week), their research starts with a search engine (vs. a mobile site or app), proximity is important (69% expect businesses to be within five miles of their location), immediacy is key (more than half want to purchase within the hour) and mobile influences their purchase decisions (93% go on to buy). (