Adults spend more time on mobile devices than with print media

13 Dec 2011

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Adults in the US now spend more time on mobile devices each day than they do with print media, according to new research. Time spent watching traditional TV, DVR and DVDs is also on the rise, despite fears of consumer “cord cutting.”

The eMarketer study found that the average adult consumer has spent four hours and 34 minutes each day watching TV and video on a traditional television set this year, up 10 minutes from last year.

Time spent with the internet and mobile phones was also up – by 7.7pc and 30pc, respectively – and while adults are spending less time than last year with radio and print publications, the increases to TV and digital also mean an increase in total time spent with media, to 11 hours and 33 minutes.

Mobile’s 30pc jump from 2010 helped propel it past the one-hour-per-day mark, compared to just 44 minutes with print magazines and newspapers combined.

eMarketer forms its estimates of time spent with media based on a meta-analysis of data from dozens of research sources, including survey and study data. TV and video includes any type of video watched on a traditional TV set, while all online video activities are included in the internet category.

Time spent with each medium is averaged across the whole US adult population, not just users of the respective medium. Time spent with each medium also includes all time spent with that medium, regardless of multitasking, so an hour of watching TV while simultaneously on the internet is considered an hour of each activity.

Shifts in ad spending

Shifts in ad spending remain behind the shifting consumption patterns of the US population. While TV is clearly getting its fair share of dollars, the amount of ad spending going toward digital does not yet reflect the amount of time consumers have invested in these areas of their lives.

Mobile, for example, has a more than 10pc share of adults’ media time each day, but less than 1pc of ad dollars, eMarketer estimates. On the flip side, newspapers and magazines continue to command ad dollars far ahead of their importance in consumers’ day.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com