Nielsen Total Audience Report 2020 cover

A number of recent studies have documented an increasing dilemma facing U.S. content consumers: There’s more out there to watch than ever before.

The latest Nielsen Total Audience Report says that in 2019 U.S. consumers could access more than 646,000 “unique program titles” across linear and streaming video services—10% more than in 2018.

Of those titles, Nielsen says, about 9% of them were exclusive to a subscription video on demand (SVOD) service like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu. Twenty-four percent of the titles are on SVOD services but not exclusively; 44% are on free-ad supported video-on-demand (VOD) services; 66% on transactional VOD services; 16% on linear TV exclusively; and 31% on linear TV non-exclusively.

The report notes a key takeaway for marketers: “Ad-supported video services (AVOD) act as a great multiplier in terms of titles,” it reads. “Content available exclusively on linear services accounts for 16% of titles, but that almost doubles to 31% when linear titles simultaneously available on AVOD are included. That affords media owners multiple monetization opportunities and a better chance of finding their audience through their desired distribution points.”

Nielsen also notes that in terms of unique program titles, streaming choices are hardly limited to video. “In addition to terrestrial radio, audio streaming offers consumers millions of titles to choose from, covering music to podcasts to books,” the report says. “And choice of service is less about where content is located and more about interface preference or where a device might be used.”

Another key finding from Nielsen’s report: U.S. adults 18+ spent approximately half of each day (11 hours, 54 minutes) connected to media—including television, TV-connected devices, radio, computers, smartphones and tablets—during the third quarter of last year.

The media-connected time total was 10 hours, 30 minutes in the same time period a year earlier.

“That’s 1 hour and 24 minutes of additional media exposure across all platforms from third-quarter 2018, which was driven by smartphone usage,” the report says. “That is a great amount of the waking day for consumer connectivity, so this amount of time is especially eye-opening. Marketers and content creators have literally every waking hour of a consumer’s day to put forth their best messages.”

Of that 11:54 spent on media in the third quarter, an hour and 41 minutes went to radio. That’s down from the year-earlier quarter (1 hour, 44 minutes).

The report notes that despite the rapidly changing media landscape, brands and marketers wanting to reach a mass audience can still reach the greatest number of people via the traditional linear platforms of TV and radio.

“Radio reach has remained steady and is the highest across all platforms at 92%, including 96% among Hispanic adults,” the report says. “Live+time-shifted TV reach declined to 84% in third-quarter 2019 from 86% a year ago, as the reach of internet-connected devices to the TV glass grew to 44% from 38%. These connected devices are enabling and encouraging a shift from traditional to streaming, and as the connected TV becomes the new normal, so will streaming.”