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Traditional TV vs. TV-Connected Device Usage in Q3 2020 (daily hh:mm, total population)

Let’s Talk Traditional TV

With streaming taking the front of the TV hype stage, it’s time to take a more objective look at traditional TV.

The average adult, according to Nielsen/Marketing Charts, spends 5 hours and 21 minutes per day consuming video content. That is nearly a full-time job watching video screens for the average American adult (nearly 37.5 hours per week or 81 days a year). That number is all video viewing — traditional TV, connected devices, computer screens, smartphones, tablets …

Traditional TV vs. TV-Connected Device Usage in Q3 2020 (daily hh:mm, total population)So for traditional TV you can sum up how it is doing in one word: older. People 50 to 64 watch an average of nearly 5 hours of traditional TV per day. People 65 and older watch 6 hours and 39 minutes per day. The numbers drop dramatically for ages 35-49 (2 hours 43 minutes) and for ages 18-34 (1 hour and 12 minutes). There has been a percentage loss year over year for all age groups except 65-plus.

For traditional TV, Gen Xers and boomers are the core audiences. What we don’t know is: As 12-to-34-year-olds age, will they turn to traditional TV or stay with connected devices? This cohort is spending more time with connected devices than traditional TV to begin their video watching. Older boomers did not grow up with connected devices.

You may say that it’s time to get off traditional TV because it is not reaching enough younger audiences. However, here’s a word of caution: The 50-plus audience accounts for more than half the consumer spending in the U.S. In other words, the 50-plus group buys more than half the new vehicles, they have strong earnings power, they shop online, they buy 70% of medical supplies and prescription drugs and 51% of food.

Time is important and so is money. Traditional TV still has both.

Mark Mathis III is chief creative & strategy officer, partner and cofounder of AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising.

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Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle.

With that kind of experience, after working at KWWL for 12 years, Mark became one of the founding partners of ME&V and, subsequently, AMPERAGE. Today, he leads the AMPERAGE creative teams, including video production, graphic design, public relations, writing and web development.

He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.”

Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.”

One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College.

Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board.

Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.