Live television is less and less popular among viewers, who increasingly prefer time-shifted and streaming content, USA Today reported.

The newspaper cited a Nielsen report that concludes that the average American's time spent watching live TV decreased by 12 minutes from July through September. The daily average is now 4 hours and 32 minutes.

Time spent with smartphones, on the other hand, increased by 23 minutes and now stands at 93 minutes per day, the report noted. Consumers also invested more time in playing video game consoles, as well as watching video or using apps on their phones.

Despite the decrease of nearly six hours per month, live TV remained the most popular activity. The average consumer watched 141 hours and 19 minutes, USA Today detailed.

Compared to last year, viewers watched an additional hour and 8 minutes of time-shifted video (for a monthly total of 14 hours and 20 minutes), however. They also increased their consumption of Internet-delivered video by four hours (for a monthly total of 10 hours and 42 minutes), the newspaper said.

"The growing penetration of new devices and the popularity of subscription-based streaming services, time-shifted and over-the-top viewing -- as well as cord-cutting and cord shaving -- are fundamentally changing the TV industry," Dounia Turrill, senior vice president of Insights, said in Nielsen's report.

Part of the reason for the changes is habits is the increased accessibility of content on digital devices, which is giving consumers more choices, Broadcasting & Cable noted. "That might be especially true in the third quarter, when summer programming including reruns drives viewers to experiment," the business publication analyzed.

Subscription video on demand is now available in 40 percent of homes, and its viewership is up 19 percent, Broadcasting & Cable detailed. Live TV ratings can sometimes see a boost when current shows are made available on streaming services such as Netflix, the publication noted, because it allows viewers to "catch up" on earlier episodes; in other cases, however, "traditional ad supported viewing" decreased.

Consumers are also increasingly turning to tablets, which are now available in 47 percent of homes and whose use is up 47 percent. Smart TVs, meanwhile, can be found in 13 percent of homes, and their usage is up 78 percent, according to the Nielsen study.