Study: Internet 2nd Most Essential Medium, But #1 in Coolness

The Internet has passed radio to become Americans' second "most essential" medium and swapped places with TV as the "most cool and exciting medium" since the subjects were last studied five years ago, reported Edison Media Research.

Edison's "Internet and Multimedia 2007" study, conducted this past winter with Arbitron, reported that 36% of consumers age 12 and over chose TV as the "most essential" medium in their lives, followed by 33% choosing the Internet, 17% radio, and 10% newspapers.

In 2002, TV was also ranked "most essential" by 39% of respondents, followed by 26% for radio and 20% for the Internet.

Interestingly, the Internet also placed second when this year's respondents were asked to name the "least essential" medium, this time placing behind newspapers.

Here, 35% found newspapers "least essential," followed by 24% for the Internet, and 18% for both TV and radio. In 2002, the Internet had topped the "least essential" list, at 33%.

Finally, the Internet and TV swapped places in the category of "most cool and exciting medium," with the Internet getting this designation from 38% of respondents in 2007 versus 25% in 2002, and TV from 35%, down from 48% just five years ago.

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