8 JUN 2021

US MEDIA CONSUMPTION PROJECTED TO RISE IN 2021, BUT TV VIEWING AWAITS DECLINE

The amount of time spent consuming media has now reached 13 hours and 21 minutes. While digital media contributes the majority of the growth, traditional media, including print and newspapers, will likely see declines.

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A recent Emarketer report indicates that the average US media consumer has spent more time scrolling through their TVs and mobile devices. Despite the spike in overall consumption, TV viewing is projected to drop below pre-pandemic levels. 

Digital media will contribute to most of the increases, adding over an hour of consumption last year, with a 2% year-over-year average, a significantly smaller figure than 2020’s 14.8% surge. Despite surges caused by recent elections, pandemic-related incidents, and other social issues, traditional media will suffer a 5.7% decrease, an average of 18 minutes less of consumption per viewer, Radio, and print media consumption are also expected to plummet.

 

Average Time Spent with Media in the US, by Media, 2019-2023 (hrs:mins per day among population)

 

Emarketer generally estimates that the average US adult “will spend another 15 minutes less with the medium (digital) in 2022, and 11 minutes less in 2023.” The major causes of the declines in TV viewing include cord-cutting, the decreased demand for linear programming, and the accelerated demand for streaming.

The researcher estimates an average viewing increase of approximately an hour in 2020 and most recently reached 13 hours and 21 minutes. Select traditional media outlets such as TV and newspapers have seen significant growth recently, while others declined.  Increased consumption will likely carry on through this year, but will overall decline over time, as adults are estimated to spend nine minutes less consuming media than the year before at 13:12, and engagement levels will remain.

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