Nielsen media chart tells the wrong story


Nielsen Original

The Nielsen Total Audience Report is essential reading for those trying to predict the future of the TV and media industries. So I was shocked when I ran the numbers from the Q1 2015 report, released on Tuesday, and saw that one of their charts tells a profoundly incorrect story.

The media coverage has focused on the graph above, which at first glance seems simple. Americans 18-34 watch less TV than other age groups, and across all five major platforms (TV, radio, PC, smartphone and tablet) they also spend less time consuming media each week. True enough. But the chart also seems to show that 35-49 year olds spend less device time than average, and the column for those over 50 is about the same height as for all adults.

As I was crunching the numbers, things started to look weird. You have to convert the hours and minutes watched to…

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