In a news item that should surprise no one, research from Nielsen reveals that higher web video viewing leads to less television watching.

There’s even a handy chart, so if there’s any doubt, this must clinch it.

Predictably, this is more apparent in the 18–34-year-old demographic, i.e. the generation that grew up with YouTube, Netflix, and others. Here’s another chart-tastic visual.

(Edit: So far, both streaming and TV-viewing have risen. But as trends go, both cannot continue to surge concurrently forever, so at some point, one will have to emerge as the dominant medium. Since the trend is so strong with the younger set, online videos are expected to overtake the television platform, particularly as older viewers fall off the chart.)

It’s not hard to see that there will be a tipping point. And when that happens, you can bet TV entertainment executives will be freaking out en masse. They have been committed to the idea that web streaming is still a second-tier vehicle, and that television (and its big-budget ad rates) are king.

This is going to force a reinvention of an industry that has been dragging its heels toward the future.

For now though, it seems we’re still obsessed with screens of any type. Via browser, mobile, TV — collectively, we watch about 159 hours each month. That’s almost 40 hours per week, as much as a full-time job.

Do you watch a lot of vids, shows or movies? What’s your gadget of choice for viewing?

[via AllThingsD]