On average, the daily time spent reading among American adults was just 15 minutes in 2022. This marked a return to pre-pandemic levels. Time spent reading in the U.S. surpassed 20 minutes per day in 2020 but dropped again the following year – and the way U.S. consumers read is changing.
News consumption trends
The main way in which reading habits in the U.S. have changed is the medium through which Americans access news. In an age where updates can be found instantly via live news feeds, social media, and online video, the appeal of daily print newspapers has waned and most consumers now get their news on the internet or on television. Data on daily news consumption found that younger Americans now turn to social media for news, whilst their older peers head to network TV, with only a handful of consumers between 18 and 64 reading newspapers on a daily basis.
Books and magazines
Book reading remains a popular pastime, with the most recent data showing that three quarters of all adults had read at least one book in any format in the past year. Additionally, Americans continue to spend in excess of 100 U.S. dollars per year on reading. Print remains the preferred book format, but book readers are growing more open to other options. Digital alternatives to print are becoming more popular as consumers capitalize on the accessibility and convenience which e-books and audiobooks offer.
The number of magazine readers is also on the up again after the pandemic, and many magazine companies are taking advantage of the fact that consumers are increasingly likely to engage with their content via mobile web or video. Readership of print and digital magazines tends to decrease slightly each year whilst magazines’ mobile web and video audiences increase.
What is clear is that printed books are still important to consumers and, at least in the immediate future, are unlikely to be replaced by their digital counterparts. The U.S. newspaper market on the other hand will continue to experience hardship in years to come as local papers close and more readers make use of free, online outlets instead. At the same time, digital book revenue will climb, and magazines will see further growth in their digital reader base.
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