The total amount of time Americans spend with media may have plateaued, according to a recent report by digital market research company eMarketer.
eMarketer’s report, which analyzed the media penetration time spent in the U.S. as well as eight other markets across the globe, predicts that U.S. adults will spend, on average, 12 hours and nine minutes per day with some form of media in 2019, be it through digital outlets (laptop, desktop or mobile) or traditional means such as TV, radio or magazines and newspapers.
More than six hours per day will be dedicated to digital outlets this year, while TV will account for about three-and-a-half hours. Only a little more than an hour will be dedicated to radio. Newspapers and magazines will account for only about 11 minutes and nine minutes, respectively.
Altogether, Americans’ daily media diet in 2019 accounts for a gain of only about one minute compared to eMarketer estimates last year. By contrast, total average daily time spent with media in the U.S. increased by 1.5 hours between 2009 and 2015.
Current digital media usage habits are now carrying the total amount of time Americans spend with media, according to the report, with digital video replacing traditional TV, as well as additional time spent with digital audio, accounting for much of these recent gains. The report notes, however, that while U.S. adults’ time spent with smartphones is still rising, smartphone penetration in the U.S. has slowed as that market appears to be reaching a saturation point.
With 12 hours and nine minutes spent per day engaging with some form of media, the U.S. remains at the top of the media consumption hierarchy, clocking more than two hours more than the total average daily time spent in the country with the second-highest media penetration rate, France, at 10 hours and six minutes. Germany, Canada, the UK, South Korea, Japan and China follow. Adults living in India dedicate the least amount of time to media among the nine countries analyzed, at four hours and 59 minutes per day.
Total media time, however, doesn’t necessarily imply highest smartphone penetration. Mobile penetration among adults in Canada, for example, stands at 81.6 percent, higher than the U.S.' 80.5 percent. And South Korea beats them both, at 89 percent, though that country ranks number-six on eMarketer’s analysis of overall average media time spent.
The report notes that 2020 should see an uptick in Americans’ time spent with media, as events such as the presidential election and Summer Olympics could account for a four-minute daily media increase next year.
eMarketer’s “Time Spent with Media 2019” report analyzed survey data from adult respondents, as well as data from online and mobile activity tracking services, government data and interviews with industry experts.