Table - Traditional Television Viewing By Generation

There’s a strong perception that with the rise of social media, mobile device usage, and other such digital trends, youth have put TV on mute. According to the most recent cross-platform report from Nielsen, TV consumption is dropping by a larger amount every quarter, but it’s still not a seismic shift. The 18-24 group, for instance, watched a weekly average of about 23 and a quarter hours of traditional TV in Q4 2012, about 2 hours and 20 minutes less than they did in Q4 2011. That’s about 20 minutes less per day.

The trend does appear to be moving towards less TV viewing by this group, though. That 20 minutes-per-day difference year-over-year in Q4 is up from a 17 minute difference in Q3, a 15 minute difference in Q2, and a 13 minute gap in Q1.

In Q4, TV viewing patterns showed a definite age trend. While 18-24-year-olds watched les TV than a year earlier, 25-34-year olds kept their consumption fairly steady (down only 28 minutes per week), while the 35-49, 50-64, and 65+ groups all watched more, by 13, 97, and 72 minutes, respectively. Compared to prior quarters, it looks like traditional TV consumption patterns actually trended upwards for all age groups save for the 18-24 set. (This may have been related to coverage of the elections, with older groups more likely to turn on the TV for election news, and youth more likely to use digital sources.) Read the rest at MarketingCharts.