Shifting patterns mean US adults are spending more time with media on entertainment devices

The forecast: US average time spent with digital will hit 8 hours and 14 minutes per day in 2022 after first crossing the 8-hour mark last year. That 1.9% increase isn't as big as in past pandemic years, but it's still eating up a bigger share of overall time spent with media. This comes as users move away from internet devices associated with working from home, like laptops and tablets, and toward entertainment ones, like smartphones and smart TVs.

Dive deeper:

  • The increase in US time spent with media is driven by the "other" connected devices category. This refers to devices like smart TVs, game consoles, and internet-connected devices.
  • Time spent with other connected devices blossomed by 35.4% to hit 1 hour and 35 minutes in 2020, when bored US adults with canceled in-person plans hit a new level of binge-watching and gaming.
  • While growth has slowed, the other connected devices category hasn't given up those gains: US adults will spend 1 hour and 47 minutes with the category this year. That figure will account for a greater percentage of time spent with media than ever before, at 13.5%.
  • Meanwhile, time spent with desktops and laptops is once more on the decline, following a work-from-home bump in 2020. US adults will spend an average of 6 minutes less with these devices this year than they did in 2020, for a total of 1 hour and 57 minutes.
  • Time spent with tablets is following the same pattern as desktop and laptop, as users move away from these devices and toward more entertainment-focused ones like smartphones and smart TVs.
  • It's worth noting these figures account for multitasking, meaning time spent on multiple devices is counted separately.

Looking ahead: Digital will account for an increasing share of time spent with media through our forecast, totaling 8 hours and 28 minutes in 2024, or 64.9% of time spent with media. Digital's growth is driven by increasing time spent with smartphones and other connected devices, which are making up for losses in the desktop/laptop and tablet categories.