Nearly 70 Million U.S. Households Now Have a Connected-TV Streaming Device

Adults spend an average of 10 hours, 48 minutes a day consuming media

8.8 million new U.S households added connected TV devices during the past year. Photo Illustration: Dianna McDougall; Source: Getty Images
Headshot of Jason Lynch

U.S. adults are consuming more media but less live TV each day than ever, while the number of households with a connected-TV device has skyrocketed in the past year to 69.5 million, according to the second-quarter 2017 Nielsen Total Audience Report.

Nielsen’s quarterly report focused on the surge in connected-TV devices like Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast, smart TVs and video game consoles, which give consumers access to SVOD (subscription video on demand) services like Netflix and Hulu as well as a host of other over-the-top options and other alternatives to broadcast and cable TV.

The report found that as of June, 58.7 percent of U.S. homes, or 69.5 million households in all, now own at least one internet-enabled device capable of streaming to a TV. That’s a 12 percent increase from June 2016, when 60.7 million households (52.2 percent of homes) had connected-TV access.

Nielsen separated those devices into three groups: multimedia devices (Roku and Apple TV, or a computer, smartphone or talent connected to a TV), game consoles (Xbox and PlayStation) and smart TVs. The report found that 14.5 million U.S. homes had only a game console, 13.4 million homes had only a smart TV and 11 million homes had only a multimedia device.

More than a quarter of all TV homes (around 31 million) have at least two of these devices, while 6.5 million households have devices from all three categories.

Those homes with connected-TV devices are younger (more than half are under the age of 45), more affluent and more likely to have kids, making them even more prized by advertisers.

Meanwhile, overall media usage among U.S. adults 18 and older increased by more than a half-hour in the past year, surging 32 minutes to 10 hours, 48 minutes, as live-TV viewing eroded more than ever.

Adults now spend 3 hours, 55 minutes per day on average watching live TV, 14 minutes less than a year earlier. And that 2016 number had dropped just two minutes from 2015, indicating that momentum is building away from live-TV viewing. The biggest year-over-year increase came from smartphone web apps, which jumped 44 minutes, from 1 hour, 43 minutes to 2 hours, 27 minutes (and more than doubled the 1 hour, 9 minutes adults spent on smartphone apps just two years earlier).

Use of multimedia devices, which includes connected TVs, increased five minutes this year to 19 minutes. This year, consumers also spent two minutes more watching DVR and time-shifted TV (32 minutes) and two additional minutes with tablet web apps (34 minutes). There was a two-minute drop in radio usage (1 hour, 50 minutes), a one-minute decrease in DVD and Blu-ray devices (6 minutes) and a five-minute decline in internet via computers (52 minutes). Game console usage was flat at 13 minutes.

The full Nielsen Total Audience Report for Q2 2017 is available here.

@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.