Moms’ Media Diet: TV & Smartphones Tops for Time; Radio for Reach

January 10, 2017

Some 39% of women aged 18-49 in the US have a child under the age of 12, including 46% of women aged 35-49, according to a recent report [download page] from Nielsen. Almost three-quarters of these moms are working moms in the labor force, a percentage that increases with age. The study breaks down moms’ technology ownership and media habits, analyzing differences between working moms and stay-at-home moms.

Across 10 technologies, the report reveals that ownership levels are universally greater among working than stay-at-home moms. The gap in ownership is particularly acute for DVRs (56% and 48%, respectively), video game consoles (71% vs. 65%), subscription video on demand (SVOD: 74% vs. 65%), broadband internet (84% vs. 76%), PCs (83% vs. 76%) and tablets (80% vs. 72%). Nielsen’s analysts attribute these discrepancies to working moms generally being more affluent and more apt to be living in high-tech homes. Greater levels of DVR and SVOD ownership are linked to on-demand alternatives for moms spending more time outside of the home.

Regarding device usage, the study shows that radio has the greatest reach, with 26.9 million moms tuning in during the average week in Q3 2016. Smartphone internet (apps + web) is next, reaching 25.3 million moms aged 18-49 on a weekly basis, ahead of TV (22.6 million).

Interestingly, though, there’s a fairly large divergence between TV and smartphones when it comes to working mothers and stay-at-home mothers. While TV reaches only about half as many stay-at-home moms as the smartphone internet (5.8 and 10.4 million, respectively), TV’s reach is greater than the smartphone internet’s reach among working moms (16.8 and 14.0 million, respectively).

Even so, TV usage is much more heavier among stay-at-home mothers than working mothers. Among TV users, stay-at-home mothers spent an average of 32 hours and 40 minutes weekly watching TV during Q3 2016, compared to 26 hours and 10 minutes for working mothers.

The gap in time spent was much narrower for smartphone internet users, with stay-at-home mom users averaging 22 hours and 43 minutes weekly with their devices compared to 20 hours and 41 minutes weekly for working mothers.

Overall, stay-at-home moms averaged more than an extra hour a day in front of the TV screen than working mothers (36:26 weekly versus 28:49 weekly, a difference of more than 7 hours per week). Not only do they spend more time watching live TV, but also using all TV-connected devices, including DVD/Blu-ray devices, game consoles and multimedia devices.

The full study can be downloaded here.

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