Potpourri Of Media Usage Data

A new Temkin Group report, Media Use Benchmark, 2013, analyzes data from 10,000 consumers about their internet usage (at home and at work), reading of books and news (online and offline), TV watching, radio listening, and mobile activity. The data snapshot breaks down the data by age, ethnicity, income, and geographic region.



The report opens summarizing the overall usage levels in the U.S. for different media activities.

  • Between 2012 and 2013, respondents report watching TV, listening to the radio, and surfing the internet for work at rather equal rates. Only two areas saw more than a minor increase: using an app or web browser on a mobile phone, and reading the news online
  • Like last year, respondents to this year’s survey report watching TV almost four hours a day, and going on the internet outside of work almost as much
  • Respondents who read paper books report reading them an average of 1.4 hours per day, and e-book readers report reading only 0.9 hours per day.

Daily Media Consumption, 2013 (Average Hours Per Day)


Hrs. Per Day

Watch TV


Go on Internet with computer, not for work


Listen to radio


Go on Internet with computer for work


Read a book or paper, not online


Read news online


Use app or go on Internet with mobile phone


Read a print newspaper, not online


Read a book online, including tablets


Source: Temkin Group, Q1 2013, April 2013

Daily Media Consumption: Breakdown of Hours how many hours, on average, consumers spend doing each activity daily.

  • The vast majority enjoy Internet and TV. 96% of respondents go on the internet outside of work every day. Similarly, 94% watch TV every day. The largest proportion of TV watchers (47% of all respondents) watches TV for three to six hours. 44% of all respondents go on the internet outside of work between three and six hours a day
  • Fans of radio and online news are light users. Three-quarters of all respondents read the news online each day and 85% listen to the radio each day. Less than half of respondents do those activities for more than two hours a day.
  • Online news beats paper news, but paper books beat e-books. Reading the news online attracts 14% more users daily than reading a newspaper. However, almost twice as many respondents read paper books compared to reading e-books daily.

Daily Media Consumption By Hours In A “Typical” Day


Hours Per Typical Day


% Doing Daily

7 or More Hours

3-6 Hours

Less Than 2 Hours

Internet with computer, not for work





Watch TV





Listen to radio





Read news online





Read a paper book





Read printed newspaper





On Internet with computer for work





Use app or mobile phone online





Read book online, including Tablets





Source: Temkin Group, Q1 2013, April 2013

Average hours consumers, by age, spend doing each activity daily:

  • The heaviest contingent of TV watchers is users aged 55 to 74. Those users watch TV between 4.1 and 4.2 hours a day on average, compared to the very youngest and oldest users, who watch an average of 3.6 hours per day
  • Users under 35 are the heaviest users of most media. The respondents who use different media activities each day at the highest average rates are those under 35. One exception is with TV watching, which finds its heaviest users in the 55 to 74 age group
  • Mobile use has the largest range. Most of the youngest respondents report using mobile browsers or apps at least once a day, but only eight percent of the oldest respondents, those aged 75 and up, report using them daily
  • Though paper newspaper use picks up steadily among older generations, the survey finds that even 51% of the youngest generation reads paper newspapers at a daily rate

Daily media consumption by income level: hours, on average, spent doing each activity daily:

  • Low-income users watch more TV daily. Respondents who make $25,000 or less per year watch 4.5 hours of TV daily, on average. The highest-income respondents watch TV the least (3.3 to 3.4 hours per day on average).
  • Across income levels, almost all respondents report watching TV and going online outside for work each day
  • Readers across incomes read paper books for an equal duration. Across income levels, those who do read paper books read them for around 1.4 hours per day However, there is a slight discrepancy among income levels when it comes to who actually reads paper books at all. Those making $75,000 and up are slightly more likely to read paper books and are much more likely to read e-books

And some interesting factoids about media usage in the U.S, from the report:

  • 98% of consumers go online at home, 60% do it at least three hours per day
  • 57% of consumers use their mobile phone for going online or using an app, 16% do it at least three hours per day
  • Sixty-five to 74-year-olds watch the most TV (4.2 hours per day), 18- to 24-year-olds watch the least (3.6 hours per day)
  • All ages of consumers spend more time reading paper books than online books, but the gap is narrower with younger consumers
  • Consumers making less than $25,000 per year watch 4.5 hours per day of TV, those making $100,000 or more watch less than 3.4 hours
  • 39% of consumers making less than $25,000 per year use their mobile phone for going online or using an app, compared with more than 60% of those who earn $75,00 or more
  • The hours that consumers spend watching TV goes down with increasing educational levels
  • Asians spend twice as much time reading online books as do Caucasians
  • African-Americans watch the most TV per day
  • 54% of consumers in the South use their mobile phone for going online or using an app, compared with 49% of those in the Midwest

These, and fourteen detailed categories of findings, can be found in the complete study from The Temkin Group, available for purchase here.


2 comments about "Potpourri Of Media Usage Data".
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  1. M Cohen from marshall cohen associates, April 11, 2013 at 11:27 a.m.

    Once again, Media Post publishes consumer research with virtually nothing about the sample -- except its size. Do you know anything about this sample? Did you ask? Disappointing.

  2. John Grono from GAP Research, April 16, 2013 at 4:04 a.m.

    Agreed Marshall. Even more important is the mode of data collection. Online surveys bias towards online consumption.

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