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Graph of US Media Consumption (Digital)

US Media Consumption (2018–2022)

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 2018, the US population spent an average of 380 minutes per day consuming digital media. This comes up to six hours and 20 minutes. 

This rose to 409 minutes – or six hours and 49 minutes – in 2019, before a steep increase of nearly an hour to seven hours and 50 minutes in 2020.

The large increase in digital media consumption in 2020 was a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which led consumers to spend more time with screens as a source of entertainment.

In fact, a breakdown of the total time spent with media among US consumers shows that the biggest increase came from connected TV, on which time spent grew by 33.8 percent. Time spent consuming media on smartphones also rose by a significant 16.6 percent.

Digital media consumption is forecast to hold somewhat steady in 2021, increasing by seven minutes before another marginal rise of five minutes to reach eight hours and two minutes in 2022.

Media Consumption: Traditional Media

Chart of US Media Consumption (Traditional)

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.

Despite a slight upward tick in 2020 of three minutes, which is likely prompted by the coronavirus pandemic forcing people to stay indoors, traditional media consumption is forecast to fall again.

In 2021, the average time spent on traditional media is forecast at five and a half hours. This number is expected to further decrease to five hours and 18 minutes in 2022. 

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