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On My Block: From Checking the Weather to Streaming Content, Media Habits Vary by Local Markets
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On My Block: From Checking the Weather to Streaming Content, Media Habits Vary by Local Markets

We live in a day and age when a Los Angeleno can wake up and check the weather in Wales and a Clevelander can log on and instantly see the news in Costa Rica. According to Nielsen’s latest Local Watch report, while connectivity has made the world smaller in a lot of ways, U.S. consumers still want to keep up with the happenings in their own neighborhood. While consumers continue to go local when it comes to watching television, they’re also going digital to augment that local experience!

The report found that “local digerati”—those that used internet and mobile apps for local news and community events and feel social networking is important for local information—number nearly 30 million strong in the U.S. While 11% of adults across the U.S. can be pegged as local digerati, Boston (15%), Denver (15%), Orlando (14%), Philadelphia (14%) and Washington, D.C. (14%) boast the top markets for these consumers. In the City of Brotherly Love, 51% of local digerati have visited a local broadcast TV website in the past week—the highest of any market.

So who make up this digitally savvy, locally focused group?

The majority of local digerati are female (55%). This group is also on the younger side—among adults 18 years old and older, local digerati peak in the 25-34 year old demographic (25%) and gradually decline as age increases.

Despite their youth, they also have spending power.

About 70% of these consumers are educated and employed. In addition, nearly 40% of them make more than $75,000 per year. In short, local digerati represent a very desirable group of viewers and a golden opportunity for broadcasters everywhere to leverage their unique local content online with this highly engaged audience.

Overall, the report shows that where a consumer lives continues to correlate with their media consumption tendencies, from the amount and type of content they connect with to the devices in their homes.

For instance, viewers in Tampa (4 hours and 59 minutes), Philadelphia (4 hours and 50 minutes) and Pittsburgh (4 hours and 46 minutes) log the most daily time connecting with traditional TV, while consumers in tech-friendly San Francisco spend the most time per day using over-the-top streaming devices (14 minutes).

These trends follow suit among race and ethnic demos as well. African-American viewers in Philadelphia watch 7 hours and 29 minutes per day of traditional TV—well above the national average—and report little over-the-top streaming. Meanwhile, Hispanic viewers in San Francisco average just 3 hours and 14 minutes per day on traditional television—the lowest of any market—but 34 minutes daily watching time shifted programming (such as DVR), the most of any market among Hispanic consumers.

For the first time in the series, the report also quantified access to subscription-based video-on-demand (SVOD) services, such as Netflix and Hulu, across local markets. Across the country, 42% of homes have access to one of these services. However, the San Francisco (52%), Washington D.C. (52%) and Seattle-Tacoma (50%) markets all have significantly higher levels of access to SVOD than anywhere else.