Net Has Little Effect on TV Viewing

A study by Nielsen Media Research has shown that Internet access at home has little impact on overall household TV tuning levels.

The study was designed to measure the relationship over time between gaining access to the Net and TV usage in Nielsen’s National People Meter Sample. The analysis differs from pervious studies because TV usage was measured both before and after Internet access was obtained.

The analysis compared three groups of homes at two points in time (October 1997 and April 1998). Group A did not have access to the Internet at either time; Group B had Internet access at both times. Group C did not have access in October 1997, but did have access in April 1998.

Here are the study’s key findings:

  • At both points in time, Group A households were heavier TV users.
  • Group C homes were light TV viewers before gaining Internet access, and their TV usage did not drop substantially once gaining access.
  • Males age 12+ in Group A were heavier users than those 12+ in Groups B and C. There was a slight additional decline in Males 12+ in Group C after gaining access, but four-fifths of the difference was there before Internet access.
  • Females 12+ in Group A were heavier users than their counterparts in Groups B and C. Female 12+ viewing did not substantially decline after gaining Net access.

Related item: Television and PCs Receive Equal Time Despite the move toward convergence of television and PCs, their simultaneous use is on the rise according to Media Metrix.

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