Consumer Time Spent with Media May be Dropping

Have consumers reached a limit to the amount of media they can consume in one day? Or did the recession have an impact on consumer media engagement in 2009? These are questions worth pondering when considering the recently published findings of the Yankee Group.

Here’s how the average consumer spent time with media on a daily basis in 2009 according to Yankee Group:

  • Online: 4:13 (hours hours 13 minutes)
  • TV/​Video: 3:17
  • Music/​Radio: 1:26
  • Mobile phone: 1:18
  • Landline phone: 0.36
  • Gaming: 0:36
  • Reading : 0:24

Carl Howe, director at Yankee Group says consumers cut the amount of time they used media last year. In 2009, consumers engaged with media an average of 12 hours a day. This represents a loss of nearly 2 hours compared to 2008. Yankee Group analysts say that online time actually dropped last year but less significantly than the drop in time spent watching TV. However, online advertising revenue increased by nearly $2 billion, indicating that advertisers are still playing catch-​up in terms of spending money where consumers spend the majority of their time. Mobile was the only channel to see an increase in time spent and this held true both for texting and daily mobile Web use.

eMarketer analysts note that the Yankee Group numbers differ from the media consumption statistics published by other research shops such as Nielsen. This difference may result partly from Yankee Group’s inclusion of work time media use – a segment that Nielsen excludes.

As consumer optimism increases during 2010, marketers will be closely watching which media channels become most popular and whether consumers devote more time to media overall. For now, it’s a safe bet that mobile will continue to trend up sharply.

[Sources: Decreased Media Usage Hurts Ad Market. Emarketer​.com. 19 Apr. 2010. Web. 20 Apr. 2010; 2009 U.S. Ad Market Declines 12 Percent. Yankee Group. 14 Apr. 2010. Web. 20 Apr. 2010]

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.