Commentary

Multitasking Pushes Adult Media Use To Half a Day, Every Day

According to a new eMarketer report, “US Time Spent with Media: eMarketer’s Updated Estimates for Spring 2016,” US adults will squeeze an average of 12 hours, 5 minutes per day of media usage into their waking hours this year, thanks to media multitasking, nearly an hour more than the average in 2011. But the daily figure is expected to grow by just 3 minutes between 2016 and 2018.

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While mobile devices enable people to consume media content anywhere at any time, the numbers suggest a saturation point is near, says the report, and that increased time spent with one medium will tend to come at the expense of time spent with another,   

Average Time US Adults Spend Per Day With Major Media (hrs/min)

Media

2015

2016

2017

2018

Digital

5:28

5:43

5:53

6:01

   Mobile

2:53

3:06

3:15

3:23

   Radio

:44

:47

:50

:52

   Social networks

:26

:39

:22

:34

   Video

:26

:29

:31

:34

   Other

1:16

1:20

1:22

1:24

Desktop/laptop

2:12

2:11

2:10

2:08

   Video

:24

:25

:25

:24

   Social networks

:15

:14

:13

:13

   Radio

:06

:06

:06

:05

   Other

1:27

1:26

1:26

1:26

Other connected devices

:23

:26

:28

:30

TV

4:11

4:05

4:00

3:55

Radio

1:27

1:27

1:26

1:25

Print

:30

:28

:27

:20

   Newspapers

:17

:16

:15

:15

   Magazines

:13

:12

:11

:11

Other

:24

:22

:21

:20

Total

12:00

12:05

12:07

12:08

Source: eMarketer, April 2016

Nondigital TV, despite a downward trajectory, remains the single largest part of US adults’ media day. TV time far exceeds time spent on any one component of the overall “digital” category. While digital video is on the upswing, the sum of mobile viewing and desktop/laptop viewing will be less than one-fourth the amount of time spent on nondigital TV this year, predicts eMarketer.

Even after an expected retreat of a minute per day of time spent in 2018, desktop/laptop video time spent will still be above the 2012 figure, at 24 minutes vs. 20 minutes, says the report. Over the same period, mobile video will add a daily 25 minutes of usage, going from 9 minutes to 34 minutes.

US Adult Average Time Spent Per Day With Video (Hrs:Min)

  • TV   (4:05)
  • Digital video devices   (1:08)
  •    Mobile devices   (0:29)
  •    Desktop/laptop   (0:25
  •    Other connected devices   (0:14)

Source: eMarketer, April 2016

Even in a category as robust as digital video, though, growth has slowed and is expected to slow even more, notes the report. Mobile video was one of the media posting a triple-digit increase in time spent in 2012 (218.0%) as smartphones and tablets became common household appliances. This year, by contrast, the increase will just barely make double digits (10.0%) before falling below that level in 2017 (8.5%) and 2018 (7.2%).

Digital video, despite its brisk growth, still accounts for a small portion of time spent when compared to nondigital TV, which will garner nearly four-fifths of the time US adults spend watching video in 2016, says the report.

The emergence of digital video viewing as an increasingly mainstream activity has not reduced the average level of usage by its now-broader audience. Looking just at people who are users of digital video, the eMarketer forecast shows time spent per day rising from 1 hour, 1 minute in 2012 to 1 hour, 39 minutes in 2016, with further (but slower) growth expected to yield a figure of 1 hour, 46 minutes in 2018.

For more from eMarketer, please visit here.

 

 

1 comment about "Multitasking Pushes Adult Media Use To Half a Day, Every Day".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 17, 2016 at 9:55 a.m.

    Even if one belives each of the stats that make up the overall mosaic, since so much media exposure is supposedly taking place simultaneously---"multitasking"--- this means that the average person is spending only 8-9 hours with media per day, not 12 hours. Also, there is the issue of attentiveness. Just because the TV is on or a PC is showing something on its screen, that doesn't mean that the "audience" is paying any attention. As an estimate, we figure that a typical adult is reasonably attentive to only 6 hours of media per day.

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