The number of TV homes is shrinking, according to the latest
numbers from Nielsen.
The ratings agency Thursday released a preliminary version
of its 2013 Television Household Universe Estimates, saying that there are
114.1 million TV homes, down from 114.7 million in 2011.
Nielsen also said that the number of persons two years of
age and older (2+) in TV homes dropped to 289.2 million from 289.3 million.
The final TV Household Estimates will be released in August,
but a smaller audience base means fewer people are available to watch TV and
commercials on traditional television.
Nielsen also released a new report on Cross-Platform viewing
in the fourth quarter.
It found that the average American watches nearly five hours
of video each day, and 98% of that is viewed on a traditional TV set.
That's down slightly, but Nielsen says "the fact remains
that Americans are not turning off. They are shifting to new technologies and
devices that make it easier for them to watch the content they want whenever
and wherever is optimal for them."
The number of homes with a high-definition set grew to 80.2
million, up 8 million from a year ago.
Nielsen also said that there are game consoles now in 45% of
all TV homes. Many new consoles can be used to access TV content.
Smartphones are also increasingly becoming portable TVs. Nielsen says 33.5
million mobile phone owners use them to watch video, up 35.7% since last year.
"While mobile phones won't replace other screens anytime
soon, they are part of the ever-increasing number of ways in which consumers consume
content," Nielsen said.