Media Reach Increases Alongside Household Income Level

June 19, 2012

tvb-media-reach-by-income-june2012.pngMost media show higher levels of reach among affluent than lower-income households, finds TVB in survey results released in June 2012. This pattern is, somewhat predictably, most apparent for digital and mobile channels, but also holds true for traditional media such as TV, which has the largest reach. For example, TV’s reach increases from 83.7% among those with household income (HHI) of less than $25k to 90.5% among those with HHI of more than $100k. While reach also grows steadily alongside income levels for magazines, newspapers’ reach is highest among those with HHI of $50-75k (37.7%).

In the context of the report, reach refers to the proportion of respondents who were “reached yesterday.”

While traditional media reach is generally higher among the affluent, the disparity between high- and low-income households is much more pronounced when examining internet, mobile phones, and tablets. This means that while a much higher proportion of the lowest-income households watch TV than access the internet (83.7% vs. 62.4%) on a given day, that gap is significantly narrower among the highest-income households (90.5% vs. 83.4%). Even so, it is interesting to note that as higher-income households show greater “daily” reach via a multitude of media and devices, including tablets, these more affluent consumers are not ditching their TVs, radios, or magazines.

TV Consumption Outpaces Internet, Radio

Further details from the TVB report indicate that TV leads among respondents in terms of average daily time spent, at 5.2 hours. The internet (3 hours) is next, with radio (1.4 hours) following. This consumption pattern – with TV, internet, and radio commanding the most media time in that order – was also found by eMarketer in December 2011 research.

According to TVB, TV’s leading consumption persists across all age segments, with daily time spent highest among those older than 65, and lowest among 18-34-year-olds. February 2012 research from Nielsen also found the elderly group to watch the most amount of TV on a monthly basis. Of note, though, the TVB research finds 18-34-year-olds to spend on average more time watching TV than on the internet. A behavioral study released in April by Time found instead that digital natives spend the majority of their time with digital media.

Other Findings:

  • According to the TVB survey, women spend more overall time than men with media.
  • Total time spent with media has increased 8% between 2010 and 2012. While daily time spent with TV has decreased marginally, time spent with the internet has increased 15%, and time spent with mobile phones has more than doubled.
  • The slight dip in time spent with TV owes to a decline among older age groups. By contrast, younger groups are increasing their time spent with TV. The 18-34-year-old group, for example, has increased daily time spent with TV by 14%.

About the Data: The TVB Media Comparisons Study was fielded in Q1 2012 and conducted by Knowledge Networks, utilizing their “Knowledge Panel.” There were 1,557 respondents in total: 1,433 are adults (aged 18 and older), and the remaining 124 are aged 13-17.

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