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Daily media consumption in the U.S. 2020, by format

In terms of average time spent each day, TV is the second most used form of media in the United States, with adults spending 229 minutes (almost four hours) watching television on a daily basis according to a study undertaken in April 2020. Digital formats took up the majority of U.S. adults' daily media consumption time, while for newspapers and magazines the average time spent was just nine and eight minutes respectively.

Is print dying?

The reluctance among many print publications to publish their circulation figures tells a story in itself – print consumption is not what it used to be. Whilst many newspapers and magazines have made the move online, those which have not, have fallen behind, and in an increasingly digitized market risk disappearing almost totally from their audience’s view.

Interestingly, 14 percent adults who took part in a study on print media in 2018 admitted that they felt indifferent towards print dying out, and five percent even said that they were happy at the prospect of the medium’s extinction. Despite the majority of respondents stating that they would be sad if print media became obsolete, a resurgence of the print medium looks to be unlikely. Book store and news dealer sales in the U.S. have been on the decline since 2007, and even long-established newspapers like The New York Times have had to protect themselves from the decline of print media by shifting their focus to digital.

Subscriptions to The New York Times’ digital only news product have almost tripled since the end of 2014, evidencing the demand for such products and their potential success. Digital advertising and subscriptions make up a significant amount of the newspaper’s revenue and are necessary for its continued success. Had the NYT stuck to print, the company’s revenue would likely be very different.

How has media consumption changed?

  Since 2011, the daily time spent with major media in the United States has increased by 60 minutes, with the average amount of daily time spent amounting to over half the hours in a day.

Digital media is taking over, with music streaming services like Deezer and Spotify providing hours of entertainment and constantly expanding catalogues of music available at the click of a button. Revenue from music streaming in the U.S. reached 7.4 billion dollars in 2018, an increase of six billion in just five years, and the TV market is undergoing a similar change. Companies like Netflix and Sling TV are growing whilst traditional TV providers are losing subscribers. Streaming revenue, subscriptions and consumption are set to increase exponentially, whereas traditional media like books, print magazines and newspapers are less popular and have been exhibiting negative growth, a trend which is likely to continue in years to come.

Average time spent with major media per day in the United States as of April 2020, by format

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Release date

May 2020


United States

Survey time period

April 2020

Age group

18 years and older

Supplementary notes

*Excludes digital formats.

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Statistics on "Print media in the U.S."

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