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Stay-at-Home Moms Watch One More Hour of Media Per Day Than Working Mothers

Including 5 additional hours of live TV viewing each week

Stay-at-home moms spend an average of 36 hours and 26 minutes each week in front of the TV. Getty Images

Stay-at-home mothers don't have as many devices in their homes as their working counterparts, but they make the most of those that they do have: they spend around seven and a half more hours each week watching TV and TV-connected devices than working mothers do.

In Nielsen's Q3 2016 Total Audience Report, released this morning, the company focused on the media habits of mothers: working and those who stay at home. (Previous reports spotlighted millennials and the extent to which consumers are using all options available to them.)

According to Nielsen's national TV panel, there are 25.1 million females in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 49 who have one or more children under the age of 12. Nearly three-quarters of those women are working, and the older a woman is, the more likely she is to be in the workforce: Seventy-one percent of mothers between 18 and 34 are working, but that jumps to 77 percent of those between 35 and 49.

While working mothers are more affluent and more likely to live in high-tech homes with several devices, stay-at-home moms spend an average of 36:26 (in hours: minutes) each week on live TV viewing and connected TV devices, which include DVR, DVD/Blu-ray, game consoles and other devices like Roku and Apple TV. That's seven and a half hours more than working mothers, who spend an average of 28:49 each week.

Live TV viewing accounts for the biggest discrepancy between the two groups, with stay-at-home moms watching more than five hours of live TV each week (25:37, versus 20:08 for working mothers).

While working mothers spend less time consuming media, they have access to more devices than their stay-at-home counterparts. Seventy-four percent of working moms subscribe to SVOD services like Netflix and Hulu, while just 65 percent of stay-at-home moms do. Eighty percent of working moms have tablets, compared to 72 percent of stay-at-home mothers.

However, both groups have an almost identical access to smartphones: Ninety-eight percent of working moms, 96 percent of stay-at-home moms.

On the social media front, stay-at-home mothers gravitate toward PCs and smartphones, while working moms use tablets.

Across all devices, radio reaches the greatest number of working moms, who average 13:45 per week (stay-at-home mothers listen for an average of 12:07 each week).

But stay-at-home moms spend more time with all other devices, led by smartphones: stay-at-home mothers average 22:43 per week of smartphone time, versus 20:41 for working moms.

Live TV drop-off

In overall viewing numbers, U.S. adults spent an average of 4:06 (in hours: minutes) tuning into live TV each day in Q3 2016, which is one minute less than the previous year. In Q3 2014, the average was 4:13. (DVR/time-shifted TV increased one minute, from 0:28 to 0:29, to make up for the loss in live viewing).

Radio usage has jumped 2 minutes per day in the past year (from 1:50 to 1:52), while viewing apps or internet on a smartphone has almost doubled in that time frame, from 1:14 to 2:10.

The full Nielsen Q3 2016 Total Audience Report is available here.

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