Skip to content
Chart of US Media Consumption (2020–2024)

US Media Consumption (2018–2024)

There’s no denying the media has a huge influence on our lives. As an ecommerce business owner, it’s crucial to understand how consumers are engaging with it, beginning with media consumption and how it’s evolving over the years.

More importantly, knowing your target audience’s time spent with media – whether it’s digital or traditional – will help you better understand where you should focus your marketing efforts

Start selling online now with Shopify

Start your free trial

Media Consumption: Digital Media

According to the latest media consumption statistics, US consumers have been spending increasingly more time consuming digital media year after year. 

In 2020, the US population spent an average of 474 minutes per day consuming digital media. This comes up to seven hours and 54 minutes, and accounted for 58.9 percent of the total amount of time spent by US consumers on media consumption per day.

This figure rose to 485 minutes – or eight hours and five minutes – in 2021, crossing the eight-hour mark for the very first time. It’s expected to increase nine minutes this year to eight hours and 15 minutes, making up 62.4 percent of the total daily time spent on media.

A breakdown of the total time spent with digital media among US consumers shows that the majority of this is spent on mobile devices. This does not refer to voice calls, but other activities like listening to audio, using social networks, and watching videos. 

Digital media consumption is forecast to continue rising in the next few years. It’s set to increase by nine minutes in 2023 to eight hours and 23 minutes, and another five minutes to total eight hours and 28 minutes in 2024. 

Media Consumption: Traditional Media

Chart of US Media Consumption (Traditional)

The increase in time spent on digital media has come at the expense of traditional media. Statistics show that in contrast with digital media, time spent with traditional media among US consumers has largely been falling.

In 2018, the average time spent with traditional media came in at just over six hours. A year later, this figure had fallen 20 minutes to five hours and 44 minutes.

Despite a slight upward tick in 2020 of three minutes, which is likely prompted by the coronavirus pandemic forcing people to stay indoors, traditional media consumption is forecast to fall again.

In 2021, the average time spent on traditional media was forecast at five and a half hours. This number is expected to further decrease to five hours and 18 minutes in 2022.

Want to Learn More?