How Many Hours a Day Do You Spend Watching Video Collectively?

Are you one of those people who say I never watch TV? What if we expanded that to videos? That means encompassing TV, on-demand, streaming, movies, YouTube, and the videos posted to social media or that are emailed or texted to you. Still think you don’t watch that much?

A recent poll by Nielsen revealed that adults in the United States now watch six hours per day collectively on video between all their devices, TVs, computers, etc. How many hours a day do you spend watching video collectively?

Our Opinion

Alex admits that he plays videos to keep himself company, which he figures many people in his age bracket do. This means there’s a video constantly playing somewhere in his apartment. While he was writing his answer to this question he was “watching” old Sherlock Holmes films, but he’s not really watching it as he’s “paying almost no attention to it.” It’s mostly there just to provide noise.

If we measured it that way, Alex would be watching about 40 hours of video a week. Videos that he’s actually watching that aren’t just providing background while he works, he figures is closer to three hours a week.

Damien expressed, “How I wish I had the time to watch videos every day.” His only available time is at night after the kids have fallen asleep, and that’s if he still has the energy to watch. “Most of the time I will just fall asleep with the kids.” He figures he, too, only watches around three hours a week.


Miguel figures he probably watches two or three hours per week. He is usually watching political and historical commentary with his girlfriend. “Sounds boring, but it sparks the most awesome conversations between us.”

Phil admits to watching a good three to four hours of YouTube every day, mostly retro tech, making, and cooking, which he says is to be “educated, inspired, and entertained, in that order.” He watches YouTube first thing in the morning before and during breakfast, at lunchtime, and in late afternoon when his brain has stopped working. He catches TV time during dinner, which is sometimes Internet-based.

He explains he grew up with four channels of TV which didn’t start until mid-afternoon and shut down at midnight. “Modern media is like an all-you-can-eat candy store to me. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen.”

Chris is the same as Damien, waiting to watch until after dinner and after the kids go to bed. He does whatever writing he can and turns the TV on but usually doesn’t “make it past the first commercial.” He figures it’s less than five hours during the work week.


On the weekends it may be a little more, but he needs time to write, the kids have sports, or there’s something going on with church or another activity. He likes background noise when he writes, as it helps him concentrate. He figures he probably watches between five and ten hours through the weekend but less than ten in a week.

I’m a political/current events news writer, as well as a tech writer, so I pay a lot of attention to the news, which often means watching little videos throughout the day. Plus, I keep up on Facebook where my friends are posting personal videos as well as more news videos.

I like to go for a walk outside for my daily exercise, but I live in Chicago, so half the year it’s too cold, so I’m watching an exercise video or watching TV or a movie while I do my own workout. I keep music on during the day, but at night we watch TV during dinner. I keep the TV on as background noise/and to keep up with favorite shows while I work at night. I try to watch an hour uninterrupted by work, but I don’t always get that. During the weekends I try to just veg in front of the TV, whether it’s on-demand or streaming.

Actual video time, whether watching or not, is probably close to sixty. But actual watching time, between Facebook, news videos, etc., is probably fifteen to twenty. Then again, like Phil, I grew up at a time when we only had a few channels on TV. We got cable which expanded that to about 10 channels when I was a teenager. I grew up watching TV and movies and have spent some of my career as an entertainment writer, so I’m sure that adds to that total as well.

Your Opinion

I think it’s safe to say age probably does make a difference here. Then again, my adult kids are constantly watching videos on their phones. Maybe the difference between our results and the study is because we’re writers who are often working past normal workday hours.

How do you rate your results? Is it the same as the study or considerably less like many of our writers? How many hours a day do you spend watching video collectively? Chime in to the conversation by adding your thoughts into the comments section below.

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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