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How much television do we really watch?

I’ve been suspect of the stats coming for years out of Nielsen – especially when it comes to time we spend watching television.

A few months ago, the LA Times reported that Americans were watching nearly 8 hours per day watching TV according to Nielsen. And today, the NYT says that TV viewing is rising still (according to Nielsen).

I’d love to get my hands on that data. We know that Nielsen uses an antiquated paneling system to determin ratings and viewership. That same data is the book by which advertisers and agencies buy time on television. And it drives the entire television economic ecosystem. We need something better. How about a last.fm style/scrobbler for tv?

My suspicion continues big time when it comes to internet use. In the same NYT piece, Neilsen suggests internet use is 27 hours/month while TV fetches 142 hours/month. Internet use is less than an hour a day?

Does that sound right to you?