More Time with More Screens


In case you’re wondering, people are spending more time in front of more screens as sources of information and entertainment. Research conducted at Ball State University used a novel combination of technologies to monitor and measure the media Americans are using and for what purposes.

The data followed 476 participants and resulted in 952  observed days of recorded media usage. The study takes an unbiased look at what technologies Americans are using and does not delve into effects of particular media. The Video Consumer Mapping Study, as it is called, noted some surprising findings:

  • TV users were exposed to, on average, 72 minutes per day of TV ads and promos—dispelling a commonly held belief that modern consumers are channel-hopping or otherwise avoiding most of the advertising in the programming they view.
  • Despite the proliferation of computers, video-capable mobile phones, and similar devices, TV in the home still commands the greatest amount of viewing, even among those ages 18-24; thus, in the eyes of the researchers, appearing to dispute a common belief that Internet video and mobile phone video exposure among that group (and the next one up, ages 25-34) were sizeable in 2008.
  • Rather than young people and retirees, consumers in the 45-54 age group average the most daily screen time, just over 9½ hours. The average for all other age groups is strikingly similar at roughly 8½ hours—although the composition and duration of devices used by the groups during the day varied.
  • Even in major metropolitan areas where commute times can be long and drive-time radio remains popular, computing has replaced radio as the No. 2 media activity. Radio is now No. 3 and print media fourth.
  • Contrary to some recent popular media coverage suggesting that more Americans are rediscovering “free TV” via the Internet, computer video tends to be quite small with an average time of just two minutes (a little more than 0.5 percent) a day.
  • Early DVR owners spent much more time with DVR playback than newer DVR owners. At the same time, DVR playback was even more likely than live TV to be the sole medium.
  • “Environmental” exposure outside the home, while still relatively small at just 2.8 percent of total video consumption today, could nearly double during the next few years.

A tables of results for “Average Daily Minutes of Media Consumption: Means Including Zero” can be found here.

6 Responses

  1. Results of a recent Harris Interactive poll state that:

    “… adult Internet users are now spending an average of 13 hours a week online. Of course, people’s usage varies greatly; one in five (20%) of adult Internet users are online for only two hours or less a week while one in seven (14%) are spending 24 or more hours a week online.”

    Other statistics from the report include:

    “· The age groups that spend the most time online are those aged 30-39 (18 hours) and those aged 25-29 (17 hours) and 40-49 (17 hours).

    · Half (50%) of all those online bought something on the Internet in the last month. This includes 62% of those aged 30-39 and 56% of those aged 40-49.

    · The number of adults online, now 184 million (80%), has not changed significantly since 2008 and 2007. This includes those online at work, at home, at school or any other locations.

    · However, the number of adults who are online at home has increased to 76% this year, and 75% last year, compared to 70% in 2006, and 66% in 2005. ”

    A link to the report can be found here:

  2. Cnet reports that:

    Study: Your kids will use touch screens in 2015

    “Apple’s touch-screen iPad tablet has only been out for a few days. But a study has found that by 2015, the majority of kids under age 15 will be using computers that feature a touch-screen display.

    “According to market-research firm Gartner, the younger generation could lead the way in touch-screen computing. The firm said it believes about 50 percent of the computers that will be bought for kids aged 15 or younger in 2015 will feature a touch screen. In 2009, that figure stood at just 2 percent of PCs.”

    More at:

  3. The Internet is gaining:

    “Americans are now spending as many hours online as they do in front of their TV screens, according to a survey released by Forrester on Monday.

    The average American now spends roughly 13 hours per week using the Internet (Internet) and watching TV offline, Forrester finds, based on its survey of more than 30,000 customers. The Internet has long captivated the attention of younger Americans to a greater extent than TV and is now proving more popular to Gen X (ages 31 to 44) for the first time ever. Younger Baby Boomers (ages 45 to 54) are spending the same amount of time per week using both media.

    While the amount of time Americans spend watching TV has remained roughly the same in the past five years, Internet use has increased by 121% in the same time frame.” – Lauren Indvik, Mashable


  4. Viewing online video is on the rise among Americans.

    According to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 71% of online users are using video sharing sites like YouTube and Vimeo, a figure that has increased from 66% from a year ago and 33% from five years ago. Further, according to the Pew Report, 28% of adult online users are using a similar site daily, an increase from 23% seen a year earlier.

    The full report from Pew is available here.

  5. My approach is use what the students bring to class. If they bring smartphones, I blend them into the class experience. I make the technology part of the learning process.

    94 percent of high school students accessed social media on their phones during class

    “Of Israeli high school pupils 94% access social media via their cell phones during class, reveals a new study conducted by the University of Haifa. Only 4% reported not using their cell phones at all during class. It was also found that in classes with more permissive teachers, cell phone use was lower than in classes where the teacher imposed strict discipline.”

    Read more at:

  6. “The average child born today in the UK will have spent almost a quarter of their life watching non-work-related screen technology by the time they reach 80, a new study has claimed.”

    “Over 22 million of Brits (45%) now use devices to communicate with friends and family even when they are in the same house, while 22% prefer speaking on the phone or via social media rather than face-to-face.”

    “Almost one in ten (9%) respondents use their phone during mealtimes, but that percentage doubles for 18-to-24-years-olds.”

    – Andrew Laughlin,

    Read more:

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