Media Exclusive -- Literally: Study Finds Newspapers Most Devoted Medium, TV Is Not

For all the focus on so-called media multitasking - the concurrent use of various media - a majority of people still consume certain media on an exclusive basis, according to new research released Tuesday by Mediamark Research Inc. But data, which comes from MRI's 2007 "MediaDay" study, indicates that the level of exclusivity depends on the location the media are being consumed in.


A majority of people tend to consume most major "published" media - including newspapers, magazines and the Internet - exclusively while in their homes. But with the exception of newspapers, their media consumption behavior changes markedly when they are out-of-home and exposed to more media simultaneously.

For example, 55.0% of newspaper reading in an average day is exclusive, as is 53.8% of Internet usage, 53.6% of magazine reading and 49.4% of TV viewing.

The medium most likely to be consumed concurrently with other forms of media, not surprisingly, is television, a finding that has been supported by other recent media consumption studies, including Ball State University's Center for Media Design research, and Knowledge Networks' Multimedia Mentor.

For example, 19% of at-home magazine reading is done while watching TV; 17.4% of Internet usage is done while watching TV; and 15.3% of at-home newspaper reading is done while watching TV. The most common non-media activity done at home while simultaneously using media is doing chores.

When using media outside the home, the percent of exclusive usage drops significantly for the Internet and TV. For the Internet, only 20.4% of usage is exclusive, largely because 62.2% of usage is done while simultaneously working; 46.4% of out-of-home TV viewing is done while simultaneously working or interacting with others.

Media Multitasking In, Outside The Home

(Percent Of Exclusive Media Usage In Average Day)


At Home

















Source: MRI’s 2008 MediaDay study, single year


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