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Mobile Passes Print in Time-Spent Among US Adults

Despite ‘Cord-Cutting’ Fears, TV Sees Gain in Viewing Time

NEW YORK, NY (December 12, 2011)—US adults now spend more time on mobile devices each day than they do with print media, according to a new forecast by eMarketer. Meanwhile, time spent watching traditional TV—whether live or recorded on a DVR or DVD—is also increasing, despite industry fears of online encroachment and consumer “cord-cutting.”

The average adult consumer has spent 4 hours and 34 minutes each day watching TV and video on a traditional television set this year, up 10 minutes from last year, eMarketer estimates.

Time spent with the internet and mobile phones was also up—by 7.7% and 30%, 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 30% jump from 2010 helped propel it past the 1-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 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 10% share of adults’ media time each day, but less than 1% 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.

About eMarketer
eMarketer is the authority on digital marketing, media and commerce, offering insights essential to navigating the changing, competitive and complex digital environment. By weighing and analyzing information from different sources, eMarketer provides businesspeople, marketers and advertisers with the most complete view of digital marketing available.

Media Contact:
Clark Fredricksen
Vice President, Communications, eMarketer
Tel. 212-763-6056

Posted on December 12, 2011.