US Adults Spend More Time Listening to the Radio Than Using Social Networks

June 20, 2016

eMarketer-Daily-Major-Media-Consumption-2012-2018-June2016Digital media is getting most of the buzz these days, and perhaps rightly so, as digital has this decade overtaken TV as the medium with which adults spend the most time on a daily basis. At least that’s per eMarketer’s media consumption estimates, the latest of which also show that radio remains resilient in the face of the increasing time spent with digital media.

[Which ads influence more consumers – radio ads or social media ads? Find out here.]

Indeed, despite all the buzz about social networking’s growing adoption and increasing influence on time spent online, adults continue to spend far more time listening to the radio than using social networks. And, Nielsen data indicates that radio is the medium with the broadest reach among US adults, even among Millennials.

According to the latest consumption estimates from eMarketer, US adults will spend close to one-and-a-half hours (1:27) per day listening to radio, excluding digital radio. By comparison, they’ll spend only about three-quarters of an hour (0:43) using social networks on desktops, laptops and mobile devices. In fact, adults will spend almost as much time listening to the radio this year than using social networks and watching digital video combined.

It’s worth noting that the eMarketer estimates include time spent with each medium regardless of multitasking. In other words, one hour spend using a mobile device while watching TV counts as two hours of medium time (one for TV; one for mobile).

Some other takeaways from eMarketer’s latest estimates and forecast:

  • Adults spend about as much time reading print (0:30) as using social networks on their mobile devices (0:29), although presumably this isn’t true among younger adults;
  • Adults spend the lion’s share of their digital radio time on mobile devices (0:47) as opposed to desktop/laptops (0:06);
  • Time spent with all offline media is expected to decline over the next couple of years, though only very gradually; and
  • While time spent with digital media on desktops and laptops will very gradually decrease, adults will up their time spent with mobile devices and with other connected devices.

For data on the demographic composition of major US media, including TV, print, radio (and their online equivalents), see MarketingCharts’ popular report, US Media Audience Demographics.

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