Internet Surpasses TV as Most Essential Media

Internet Surpasses TV as Most Essential Media

For the first time, the internet has surpassed TV as the “most essential” medium, according to the latest Infinite Dial study by Arbitron and Edison Research.

When asked which they would choose if they must, never again watching television or never again accessing the internet, slightly more people chose TV as the medium they would eliminate. Forty-nine percent of respondents chose to eliminate TV, compared to just more than 48% who said they would get rid of the internet.

When first asked the question in 2001, 72% of respondents said they would do without the internet, while only 26% said they would eliminate television. In the demographic of persons younger than the age of 45, the gap between the two forms of media is more profound, with more people choosing to live without TV.

The Car Is a ‘Battleground’
In other insights, Infinite Dial 2010 research found that the car is becoming a more popular place to listen to MP3 players. Nearly one-quarter (24%) of people older than the age of 12 have listened to an iPod or other MP3 player while connected to a car stereo. Among those who own an MP3 player, 54% have connected their players for listening in the car.

“The car is clearly a crucial battleground for people’s attention,” said Edison Research President Larry Rosin.

Simultaneous TV/Web Usage Jumps
In a sign that TV and the internet are starting to converge in viewers’ consciousness, more people spent more time simultaneously viewing the internet and TV in December 2009 than in June 2009 or December 2008, according to the Three Screens Report from The Nielsen Company.

In December 2009, 59% of Americans used TV and the internet simultaneously, compared to 56.9% in June 2009 and 57.5% in December 2008. On a year-over-year basis, participation in this activity increased 2.7%.

Counting individual users, 134,056 Americans used TV and the internet simultaneously in December 2009. This compares to 128,047 in June 2009 and 128,167 in December 2008. On a year-over-year basis, the number of people using TV and the internet simultaneously increased 4.6%.

About the Survey: The Infinite Dial 2010 is the 18th in a series of studies from Arbitron and Edison which have been conducted since 1998 on topics relating to the internet and new media.