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Television is fighting a losing battle for the attention of Americans

Detailed within a new media consumption study conducted by eMarketer, 2013 is the first year in which digital online devices like laptops, desktops, smartphones and tablets are consuming more time of U.S. adults per day than the television. Specifically, the average American spends about 5 hours and 9 minutes per day on digital devices while only four hours and 31 minutes watching television. Digital device consumption has spiked significantly over the last four years due to the increased use of mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. 

time-on-mobile-and-televisionAlternatively, television consumption has hovered around four and a half hours per day since 2010 with no major increase in consumption time. While Americans aren’t spending less time watching television, the growth rate is completely stagnant according to this study.

As more people turn to alternative sources of entertainment on other platforms, the television may cease to be the center of attention within the American household. Advertisers traditionally dependent on television programming will need to put a greater focus on digital mobile platforms in order to grow their business.  

Regarding other forms of media, radio consumption has been relatively stable clocking in around one hour and thirty minutes per day since 2010. However, print media (newspapers and magazines) has taken a big hit over the last four years dropping nearly 50 percent. The biggest decline has been with newspaper consumption likely due to consumers shifting to online sources for news including the digital versions of those newspapers.

Since 2010, usage of smartphones for “non-voice mobile activities” has grown from 14 minutes a day to 67 minutes a day. Showing a similar spike in growth, tablets have risen from 1 minute a day during 2010 to 63 minutes a day in 2013. However, standard feature phone usage hasn’t grown at all. Overall, the average American will spend two hours and twenty-one minutes on mobile devices each day. Within the survey, the same amount of time was awarded to the television and mobile categories when the user was multitasking with a mobile device while watching television.