Internet Dominates Young Adult Media Time

October 4, 2010

American young adults spend more time online than consuming other forms of media, according to [pdf] a new study from Edison Research.

Web Time Doubles Radio Time
“Radio’s Future II: The 2010 American Youth Study” indicates that during an average day, Americans age 12-24 spend two hours and 52 minutes on the internet, making the web the media format American young adults spend the most time consuming. Television closely follows with a daily average of two hours and 47 minutes.


Listening to the radio came in a distant third with a one hour and 24 minute daily average. With a daily average of one hour and 10 minutes, video games closely trailed radio, followed by talking on the telephone (one hour and four minutes). Time spent reading magazines and newspapers is negligible.

Radio Time Once almost Tripled Web Time
Media consumption habits among American young adults have changed dramatically since 2000. The study indicates that during an average day in 2000, Americans age 12-24 spent two hours and 43 minutes listening to the radio, the highest amount of time spent consuming any media listed and almost double the time they spend with radio today. Television followed closely behind at two hours and 37 minutes, similar to its current result.

Talking on the telephone came in a distant third at one hour and 44 minutes, slightly more popular than today. The internet only accounted for 59 minutes of an average day, meaning American young adults spent close to three times as much time consuming radio as they did consuming the internet.

In somewhat of a surprise, video games only accounted for 42 minutes of an average day, while reading magazines and newspapers had expectedly low time totals.

Internet Has Highest Percentage Spending More Time
Unsurprisingly considering results of the previous questions, the internet ranked as the media format with the highest percentage of American young adults saying they are spending more time consuming it today than one year ago (48%). Telephone followed distantly with 28% consuming it more today, in turn followed unexpectedly by radio (27%). Going to the movies was the only media format that 20% or more of American young adults said they are consuming more today than one year ago (20%).


Over-the-Air Radio Revenues Grow 4%
The radio industry will see its over-the-air revenues in 2010 climb 4.4% from last year to $13.93 billion, according to a revised forecast issued by media consulting firm BIA/Kelsey. BIA/Kelsey also predicts another $459.3 million in revenues will come from digital and online sources this year.

About the Data: Edison Research conducted 1,533 online interviews nationwide, consisting of 875 interviews with Americans age 12-24 and 888 interviews with Americans age 22-34. Interviews were conducted September 8-13, 2010. Data was matched to national age and sex demographics.


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