How Media Consumption Has Changed Over the Last Decade (2011-2021)

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by visualcapitalist

changing media consumption

Media Consumption in 2021

There are a wide array of apps and life hacks out there designed to help regulate personal internet use and media consumption, but the data suggests they haven’t been working. Today, we consume more media than at any point in time in the last decade.

This data from Recode looks at how many minutes U.S. adults spend on various forms of media, comparing mobile, desktop, radio, television, and magazines.

How Many Minutes are Spent on Media?

In 2021, collective media consumption continues its upward trajectory, and is set to be at the highest it’s ever been. In 2021, overall media consumption among U.S. adults is estimated to be around 666 minutes per day, or 11.1 hours—a 20.2% increase from 2011.

Year Mobile Desktop Radio Television Magazines Total
2021 252 50 99 253 12 666
2020 231 50 100 258 13 652
2019 208 51 100 264 14 637
2018 190 52 102 270 15 629
2017 164 53 102 282 17 618
2016 136 53 105 287 18 599
2015 124 56 109 289 19 597
2014 88 67 111 298 20 584
2013 74 67 116 306 21 584
2012 60 68 120 314 23 585
2011 45 40 131 314 24 554
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Although media consumption has grown overall, this is predominantly driven by mobile usage. In fact, every category with the exception of mobile has shrunk from their respective peaks. Mobile on the other hand, has grown a whopping 460% in 10 years, from an average daily use of 45 minutes to a staggering 252 minutes.

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Consumption by Generation

Disparities in media consumption have a generational aspect that’s worth noting, as well. For instance, older Americans like Baby Boomers still consume media routinely through television. On the other hand, younger cohorts like Millennials and Gen Z tend to consume more through mobile.

Increasing internet use has come with criticism, and is said to be partially responsible for our waning attention spans. With only 1,440 minutes in a day, it remains unknown exactly how many minutes we will continue to direct towards mobile use. But with figures growing 9% last year, we may not have yet reached the peak.

Where does this data come from?

Source: Recode
Notes: 2021 figures are projections by Zenith Media

 

 

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