Media Use - Statistics & Facts

Media is a major part of the American’s daily life. On average, an American consumer spends 294 minutes watching television, 75 minutes on their smartphone and 62 minutes listening to radio on a daily basis. As of 2016, the three types of media with the largest reach of the U.S. population are television, email and radio.


On average, Americans watch television in 5.6 days per week as of 2015. After a small decline between 2010 and 2013, the number of TV household in the U.S. has reached the highest figure over the last 15 years in the 2016-2017 season. Adoption rates of various TV technologies shows the different types of content Americans can enjoy. Approximately 71 percent of the households receive HDTV, 38 percent enjoy video-on-demand content and 33 percent use DVR. In terms of type of TV show, comedy and sitcoms remain America's favorites. Detective/crime is a popular type of TV show as well.

About 93 percent of American consumers listened to the radio at least once a week. This share is slightly higher amongst Americans aged between 35 and 49. Men aged 35 to 64 spend the most time listening to the radio, around 16 hours weekly, whereas teenage boys spent the least amount of time – about seven hours weekly. Country radio stations are the most frequent type of radio station in the U.S. As of June 2016, there were 2,115 country radio stations in the country. News/Talk radio stations are the second most popular by number of stations, followed by Spanish and Classic Hits stations.

In comparison to broadcast media, Americans spend little time with print. On a daily basis, an average U.S. consumer spends an estimated 14 minutes reading newspapers and an estimated 16 minutes reading magazines. These two traditionally print outlets are also reaching their audience through digital platforms. Although about half of the newspaper audience in the U.S. consumes only the printed version of newspapers, about 14 percent consume their content on print, web and mobile platforms, and around 7.6 percent use only the web and mobile versions of the newspaper. In 2016, already 41.5 percent of American consumers read at least one digital magazine in the month prior to the survey.

Digital media consumption is on the rise. The number of internet users in the U.S. has been increasing steadily in recent years, reaching estimated 286.9 million in 2016. Time spent per day with digital media has also increased from 288 minutes in 2013 to 328 minutes in 2015, and is forecast to pass the 360 minutes mark in 2018. The internet penetration rate is the highest among young people (aged 18 to 29) and falls as age rises. About 64 percent of Americans aged 65 and older have access to the internet.

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