68% of U.S. households had a connected TV device (smart TV, streaming device or enabled gaming console) as of September, 2018 according to Nielsen’s new Q3 2018 Total Audience Report. The data point is roughly in line with the 74% level that Leichtman Research found as of June, 2018. Together the data suggests we’re well on our way to having 4 out of 5 U.S. households with a CTV very soon.
For Nielsen, the 68% penetration rate represented a 5 point increase from the 63% it found in September, 2017. Asian American households led with an astounding 85% penetration rate, up from 81% a year ago. Black households had a 67% penetration rate in September, 2018 vs. 61% a year earlier.
Drilling deeper into the specific devices that gained, Nielsen found that smart TVs jumped from 32% to 41% penetration, the biggest growth of any type of device in the period. Smart TVs have benefited from simplified user interfaces like those found on Roku’s TVs, and now Amazon’s, as well as extremely aggressive pricing (in late February, Amazon was offering its 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV for just $100).
As the range of premium video content on CTVs has soared, time spent watching has increased as well, according to Nielsen. For all adults 18+, daily time spent with CTV increased from 6% to 7% of daily media consumption (that’s a move from 40 minutes to 47 minutes daily).
Of greater importance though, is that for adults 18-34 years old, daily time spent with CTV increased from 13% to 15% of daily media consumption (that’s a move from 1 hour, 5 minutes to 1 hour, 13 minutes). But with time spent with live and time-shifted TV for 18-34 year olds dropping to 22% of overall (1 hour, 51 minutes), there is now just a mere 38 minute per day difference for this age group as a whole between live and time-shifted vs. CTV. How many 18-34 year olds are already spending more time on their CTVs than with linear and time-shifted TV?
As always, there is a lot more interesting data in the Nielsen report. It’s available for complementary download here.