Following the Super Bowl, women enjoyed more time than men in February–but it’s clear that women now enjoy more than women ever have. In January 2018, women enjoyed 24% more time on any given day than men. This January, the gender gap has reached 42% in an earlier comparison. This year’s April Data Series for “Other #1 Show” (featured on, NBC NEWS: Women enjoy more time than men) found women watch 10 more minutes of TV than men, and 10 minutes more of other TV (i.e., streaming, video games and gadgets). This means that, on any given day, women tend to watch on average 23 more minutes than men.
This time difference is even greater for both mornings and evenings, when men typically watch less than women. But even before the most recent January comparison, women had a gap almost twice as large than men, and men had been winning the daily time race by about one hour. Women not only get more time to watch TV, they also spend a bigger share of their waking hours watching TV.
Although we don’t have precise information on the habits of those under the age of 18 (likely a very young group), the overall time differences are probably larger than 15 hours per week.
All this reflects the reality that women are watching more and that men are watching less. According to Entertainment Weekly, women comprise 54% of TV audience viewing, while men comprise 45%.
But we don’t just need numbers to tell us where this fits in history. In our “Second Anniversary of #MeToo” Snapshot, we find that times have changed—that contemporary TV and film are simply filled with female characters, and that the number of women in films is higher than ever. And the stories are also evolving: Actresses working today have more of a voice and can be more forceful in what they want to share with the world—so women—and boys—do see onscreen.
Looking ahead to the long-term future, what will each of us do with our time? We live in an ever-connected world, one where video is everywhere, and we can “switch on” content almost instantly. And it’s not just broadcast programming. Streaming services provide an array of content from apps that are not constrained by time and date, but are perfectly suited to binge-watching.
But more than traditional television or video on-demand apps, these apps work best when they truly allow the viewer to feel “in the moment.” When the platform allows the viewer to choose to pause and then begin watching again, they feel that the content they’re experiencing is theirs to own. You also can expect these same apps to embrace creators with whom the user has a shared emotional connection and to help “pass the baton” in specific stories, whether it’s through discovering content (which is both powerful and time-consuming) and helping to promote the shared stories (easy and accessible).
For example, YouTube’s One Week Is TV offers a literal opportunity to become a “scooper” (a term often used for a show’s director, producer, or writer) and participate in the week’s story. After each day’s episode, you can watch more episodes or interact with creators, but it’s up to you what you watch.
As consumers increasingly determine their experiences on-screen, they’ll be trusting to TV and video-on-demand apps that understand, respect and support their needs and attitudes.
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From ACEON ONEWS, data visualization by Ravi Krishna Srinivasan, and graphics by James Scott