Super-Rich Read and Go Online More, Watch TV and Listen to Radio Less

September 29, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

Broadcast & Cable | Household Income | Magazines | Radio | Television

Affluent “heads-of-house” read more publications and use the internet more heavily than the balance of the population, and consumption of these media increases with affluence, according to the 2008 Affluent Survey from Ipsos Mendelsohn.


Affluent Americans with annual household incomes of $100K or more read an average of eight publication titles, while the average number of issues they read is 17.9.? Among the super-rich (those with incomes more than $250K), however, the number of issues read jumps to 25.5.

Similarly, the average number of hours all affluent heads-of-house spend weekly on the internet is 23.4, while the super rich spend 27.4 hours a week surfing.

Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Cooking Light, Time and Sports Illustrated are among the publications that have the highest per-issue audiences among the affluent.

Consumption of television and radio, unlike publications and the internet, falls as income increases:

  • The average number of weekly hours spent TV-watching among all affluent heads-of-house is 19.5, while the super-rich spend 17.8 hours in front of the TV.
  • Radio fares similarly. The average weekly time spent listening to the radio among all affluent heads-of-house is 11.3 hours, while it is 10.9 hours among those in the highest income categories.
  • Of the TV broadcast networks, ABC and NBC draw the highest viewership among the affluent.
  • Cable TV is viewed by 95% of affluent heads-of-house.
  • The average number of cable TV networks viewed among those who watched TV in the past seven days is 16.1.
  • The most popular cable networks among the affluent are CNN, The Discovery Channel and ESPN.
  • 29% of affluent households own a satellite dish.

About the research: The Mendelsohn Affluent survey was conducted by mail between March 10 and July 15, 2008. It measures male and female heads of household in all 50 states and Washington DC who have household incomes of $100K or more. These individuals represent an estimated 19% of all American adults. 2008 survey results are based on 13,522 completed questionnaires with a final response rate of 43% of the adults to whom the materials could be delivered. Results of the survey are projected to an estimated 42 million affluent heads of house living in an estimated 23.3 million households. The survey bases its estimates on those produced by the US Census Bureau’s current population surveys.

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