tv_watchingNew streaming video devices research from Nielsen suggests that those devices will play a key role in “the new living room” and can enable brands and publishers to reach demographics with whom it is difficult to connect in traditional linear video environments.

More than two-thirds of homes in the U.S. have video streaming-cable devices, according to Nielsen. The company said that Americans spend almost 8 billion hours per month watching streaming devices such as those from Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire. It all comes together in the living room, where traditional linear TV and connected devices can sit side by side.

Nielsen says that consumers 13 and older who use connected devices to watch content spend more than an hour every day doing so. That compares to 36 minutes spent on the computer and 24 minutes spent on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

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The key takeaway is that connected devices are an important element of any advertising and customer engagement strategy. “While traditional linear TV still accounts for the majority of viewers’ time spent, OTT consumption has become a significant part of the living room experience, which presents publishers with a growing opportunity to monetize these valuable audiences,” Nielsen said. “With the increasing number of U.S. households using connected devices, comprehensive measurement is imperative for publishers to better understand how consumers are spending their viewing time so that they can drive revenue and provide an exceptional experience for consumers.”

Nielsen says that connected devices are popular among the younger demographic. A five-network cross section showed that 3% of live TV viewers are between the ages of 18 and 24, while 8% of those watching via connected devices were in that age group. Nielsen’s conclusion: “This is a major opportunity for TV publishers to amplify their content that premiered on live TV and maximize their reach by extending the programming to be seen on connected devices.”

The popularity of streaming is well established. In July, for instance, Parks Associates reported that 41% of streaming media player owners used them daily or nearly daily.

Image courtesy of flickr user D.Reichardt.

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