Media Consumption Booming in America

Josh WolfordIT Management

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Last week, we asked if you were addicted to social media.  A new report by Edison research suggests that we are all consuming social media, as well as traditional types of media at skyrocketing rates.

Obviously, the proliferation of internet access in the last 5 years has made it easier and easier to consume media.  The study, titled "The Infinite Dial: 2011," suggests that online media is expanding as a compliment to traditional offline forms as opposed to conflicting with it.

"What's fascinating about the Internet over the past ten years is the additive effect it has had upon the American media diet, which continues to expand," said Tom Webster, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Edison Research. "Rather than crowding other forms of media off the plate, so to speak, digital media is being consumed simultaneously with offline media, and in venues and opportunities where media might not have been consumed previously."

The survey, conducted with thousands of participants, asked people about their use of all types of media - from iPods to Pandora, from Facebook to LinkedIn. The survey asked people about their television and radio consumption as well.  Here are some of the findings I found interesting:

  • 88% of people reported having access to the internet, somewhere, as opposed to 55% in 2000
  • Among homes with internet access, 86% have broadband
  • 45% of people say the internet is essential to their lives - up 25% from 2002
  • Of the households with internet access, 2/3 of them have wi-fi

The survey reports booming online radio use.

  • An estimated 89 million people tuned into online radio last month
  • 1 in 10 of those listened to internet streams as well as AM/FM
  • Weekly online radio audience has double every 5 years since 2001
  • People reported nearly 10 hours of online radio listening a week

iPod and Smartphone ownership:

  • 37% of people surveyed own an iPod, as opposed to only 6% in 2005
  • Smartphone ownership has tripled since 2009
  • Half of 18-34 year olds own a smartphone
  • 60% of smartphone owners would give up TV before their smartphones

Social Networking

  • 52% have some sort of social network profile on some platform
  • Facebook dominates the social networking field, with 51% surveyed having a Facebook profile
  • An estimated 46 million users visit Facebook "several times a day"
  • The rate of people using their smartphones to access Facebook has risen 34% since 2009

All media consumption has increased 20% since last year.  Responders reported 8 hours and 11 minutes per day spent on television, radio, and the internet.  That's around half of your waking hours.

The survey is huge, and there are many more neat tidbits available on the full presentation slides.

This is a chart showing percentage of Americans 12+ using specific media platforms.  Internet media is gaining on the traditional stalwarts.

Conclusion:  We take in a lot of information.  Some of it good, some of it bad of course - but there is no doubt that we are experiencing more and more, and it is growing almost exponentially.

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf