U.S. adults last year spent an additional hour more per day on digital devices than they did in 2019, according to a recent forecast by digital market research company eMarketer.
eMarketer’s forecast, which analyzed current digital media penetration time in the U.S., found that U.S. adults spent an average of seven hours and fifty minutes consuming digital media per day in 2020, up 15 percent—or about 59 minutes—from the six hours and forty-nine minutes they spent consuming digital media in 2019.
In total, the average amount of time Americans spent consuming digital media daily in 2020 accounted for more than half (57.5 percent) of the time they spent consuming all media per day.
The findings shouldn’t be surprising, considering the COVID-19 pandemic drove a media consumption surge in the U.S., as more Americans found themselves isolating at home in light of social distancing measures and turning to media—particularly, digital news outlets and social media platforms—for coronavirus-related updates. eMarketer’s latest findings now contradict a previous, pre-pandemic eMarketer report released in 2019 which suggested that the total amount of time Americans spend with media had essentially plateaued. Americans’ 7:50 daily digital device time also surpasses the company’s earlier Q1 2020 projections, which had predicted that digital device time would total about 7:31 per day in 2020.
|Average time spent on social networks per day among U.S. adults (2020 vs. 2019).|
Average time spent by U.S. adults on social networks in 2020 was an hour and five minutes, according to eMarketer, up from 56 minutes in 2019. Americans spent most of their time on Facebook, followed by Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and Twitter.
Average digital video time stood at two hours and thirteen minutes, up from an hour and forty-six minutes the year prior. As in years past, a majority of this time was spent on Netflix, followed by YouTube, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Disney+.
Americans’ digital audio time on Internet music providers like Spotify and Pandora accounted for an hour and twenty-nine minutes in 2020, up from 2019’s one hour and twenty-two minutes.
eMarketer predicts that Americans’ total digital device time is on track to add an additional seven minutes this year (to 7:57) and will surpass eight hours (8:02) for the first time by the end of 2022, accounting for more than 60 percent of adults’ daily media time.
Research for eMarketer’s forecast was provided by the company’s company information service unit Insider Intelligence.