US Media Consumption (2018–2024)
There’s no denying the media has a huge influence on our lives. As an ecommerce business owner, it’s crucial to understand how consumers are engaging with it, beginning with media consumption and how it’s evolving over the years.
More importantly, knowing your target audience’s time spent with media—whether it’s digital or traditional—will help you better understand where you should focus your marketing efforts.
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Media Consumption: Digital Media
According to the latest media consumption statistics, US consumers have been spending increasingly more time consuming digital media year after year.
In 2020, the US population spent an average of 474 minutes per day consuming digital media. This comes up to seven hours and 54 minutes and accounted for 58.9 percent of the total amount of time spent by US consumers on media consumption per day.
This figure rose to 485 minutes—or eight hours and five minutes—in 2021, crossing the eight-hour mark for the very first time, before further rising to 494 minutes (eight hours and 14 minutes) in 2022, making up 62.4 percent of the total daily time spent on media.
Digital media consumption is forecast to increase and hit 503 minutes, or eight hours and 23 minutes, this year. Analysts predict it will rise by another five minutes to total eight hours and 28 minutes in 2024.
A breakdown of the total time spent with digital media among US consumers shows that the majority of this is spent on mobile devices. This does not refer to voice calls, but other activities like listening to different types of audio, using social networks, and watching videos.
Media Consumption: Traditional Media
The increase in time spent on digital media has come at the expense of traditional media. Statistics show that in contrast with digital media, time spent with traditional media among US consumers has largely been falling.
In 2018, the average time spent with traditional media came in at just over six hours. A year later, this figure had fallen 20 minutes to five hours and 44 minutes.
There was a slight upward tick of three minutes in 2020, which is likely prompted by the coronavirus pandemic forcing people to stay indoors. But traditional media consumption fell again the following year to 330 minutes.
In 2022, the average time spent on traditional media was 318 minutes, or six hours and 18 minutes, per day.