The Slatest

Americans Spend 11-hours a Day with Digital Media

A Best Buy employee assists a Black Friday shopper (L) load his new 65’ flat screen TV into the back of a pick-up truck, Thursday November 28, 2013, at the Best Buy store in Fairfax, Virginia.

Photo by PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

Americans like their digital media. A new report from Nielsen shows the average adult spends nearly half of the day – 11 hours – with electronic media. Contrary to what you might think, the old standbys, TV and radio, are doing quite well. Here’s the breakdown for the average American adult (18+):

Live TV: 5 hours, 4 minutes
Radio: 2 hours, 46 minutes
Smartphone: 1 hour, 7 minutes
Internet on a PC: 1 hour, 1 minute
Time-shifted TV: 32 minutes
Game Console: 12 minutes
DVD/Blu Ray: 9 minutes
Other Multimedia device: 2 minutes


Though smartphones have overtaken PC’s and Americans are now making time for time-shifted TV (eg. DVR), Nielsen finds our habits have remained pretty steady over the past few years.

The ratings company also looked at media consumption patterns by age, finding that our TV habits start young, dip during teenage years, then rise steadily for the rest our lives. Here’s a look at weekly TV usage by age group:

2-11: 24 hours, 16 minutes
12-17: 20 hours, 41 minutes
18-24: 22 hours, 27 minutes
25-34: 27 hours, 36 minutes
35-49: 33 hours, 40 minutes
50-64: 43 hours, 56 minutes
65-plus: 50 hours, 34 minutes

So don’t worry about missing this week’s episode of True Detective, you’ll be spending the rest of your life in front of the TV anyway.