While Growing, TV and Movie Viewing Grabs Smaller Portion of Consumers’ Entertainment Time

While Growing, TV and Movie Viewing Grabs Smaller Portion of Consumers’ Entertainment Time

TV and movie viewing has become a smaller portion of consumers’ overall weekly entertainment time over the past two years while the share of weekly time spent on other entertainment pursuits, particularly digital activities, has increased, according to new research by Interpret.

Interpret’s study, Holistic Entertainment 2021: The Complete Consumer, found that the average weekly time spent on entertainment overall has increased by an average of five hours between 2019 and 2021. While TV and movie viewing hours increased, their growth has been significantly outpaced by other forms of entertainment.

“Overall, consumers’ time spent on entertainment is becoming more diverse,” Brett Sappington, VP at Interpret, said in a statement. “Movies and TV programming still represent the largest share of entertainment time, but other activities are rapidly encroaching. Young consumers in particular see gaming, short form video, and live-streaming as valid, even preferable, alternatives to premium video content. The industry must continue to push the boundaries of entertainment in order to engage with consumers and remain relevant over time.”

Other results include:

  • Broadcast and cable network viewing fell by approximately one hour per week during the period.
  • Hours spent on streaming services offset the decline in broadcast and cable TV viewing.
  • Music, gaming, and podcasts have become a larger share of consumer entertainment. Mobile gaming in particular has increased, with U.S. consumers spending more than two hours more per week on mobile games in 2021 than in 2019.
  • Reading physical media (printed books, newspapers, and magazines) declined in entertainment share, as did, not surprisingly, attendance at live events.


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Interpret’s Holistic Entertainment 2021: The Complete Consumer is a syndicated consumer research study that examines consumer entertainment habits and spending over time. The study is based on online surveys of 9,000 U.S. consumers from 2019 to 2021, and measures entertainment consumption across varying media and free time activities, including TV and movies, online activities, digital entertainment, physical media, exercise and outdoor activities, event attendance, social media and other areas. It also explores differences in consumption among particular segments, including pay-TV subscribers, OTT subscribers, gamers and differing age cohorts, including digital natives, millennials and boomers.

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