A recent survey by Nielsen which looked at how Americans consumed media in 2012 found the TV is still the dominant device in American consumers' homes.
According to the study, out of the 289 million U.S. TV owners, 119 million own four or more sets. That's an impressive number, but equally important is what those owners are doing with their TVs. A story in TechCrunch about the report added broadcast-only programming has decreased 7 percent in the last 10 years, while satellite and cable claim a healthy 33 and 52 percent, respectively.
In addition, those who are watching TV are doing so for an average of six days per month, according to the Nielsen study. The next most-used device for consuming media, the computer, is being used to access the Internet only 28-and-a-half hours per month.
The two spheres of Internet and TV, however, barely coincide in the home: According to the report, only 4 percent of TVs are Internet-enabled. On the other hand, 56 percent of TV owners play video console games, meaning it is possible some of those users connect their Internet to the TV via a third device.
The use of the Internet itself can be further divided into segments, the largest being social media consumption. Internet users on a computer spent 20.1 percent of their time on social networks or blogs, far outstripping the next closest category of online games, at 8.1 percent.
This data suggests that attempts to get up close and personal with users, such as Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) Google+, are well worth the effort. It also proves the effectiveness of apps for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and more for Android and iOS devices. The demand for these services is certainly there; the more consumers have access them, the more they can be expected to use them.
Google, however, does have one advantage of Facebook: the consumption of online video. Google-owned YouTube has generated 136.1 million unique users to Facebook's 22.6 million. As more video is streaming online than ever before, this may be a boon for Google and a liability for Facebook.
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