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A Foolish Take: Americans Are Watching More Digital Video Than Ever

By Leo Sun - Updated Apr 14, 2019 at 10:38PM

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Americans are watching over two hours of digital video every day.

Americans spend over 11 hours per day consuming digital content, according to a Nielsen survey from last year. That's up from about nine and a half hours back in 2014. A recent eMarketer survey also revealed that Americans spent over two hours per day watching digital videos in 2018 -- and it expects that figure to continue rising.

Minutes spent on digital platforms.

Data source: eMarketer. *Excludes time watching video via social networks. Chart by author.

That's good news for streaming leaders like Netflix, Amazon ( AMZN 0.75% ), and Alphabet's ( GOOG -0.18% ) ( GOOGL -0.20% ) YouTube, but it's dire news for traditional media companies, many of which are still scrambling to launch their own video-streaming platforms.

Meanwhile, the popularity of digital music platforms explains why Amazon, Google, and Apple started their own music services. However, expanding into the digital media market is a costly strategy that requires companies to pay high licensing fees or produce their own original content.

Yet social networks, which are expected to grow at a slower rate than video platforms, are also entering that market with integrated video like Facebook Watch and Snap Originals for Snapchat. How these platforms will fare isn't clear, as these networks are generally associated with maintaining social connections instead of watching video content.

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