US adults will spend more time using their mobile devices than they will spend watching TV. According to eMarketer, this happens for the first time, this year.
In 2019, US adults will spend an average of 3 hours and 43 minutes (3:43) on mobile devices daily, excluding voice time, while they will spend 3:35 watching TV. In 2018, the average time spent on mobile was 3:35, with TV clocking in at 3:44.
“We’ve expected that mobile would overtake TV for a while, but seeing it happen is still surprising,” said eMarketer principal analyst Yoram Wurmser. “As recently as 2014, the average US adult watched TV nearly 2 hours longer than they spent on mobile devices.”
eMarketer says that digital video time, which includes streaming video via any device (excluding video on social networks), is directly replacing traditional TV time. Adults’ TV time will drop 9 minutes this year, while digital video will jump by 8 minutes. In 2020, TV time will drop another 6 minutes, and video time will increase by 6 minutes.
“While time spent watching traditional TV is declining, the networks already monetize their content that is viewed on OTT [over-the-top] services like Netflix or Hulu,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst Eric Haggstrom. “Soon-to-be-released streaming services from Disney, WarnerMedia, and NBCU may allow them to monetize their content more effectively. Whether or not these services gain traction and replace lost audiences remains to be seen.”