Web usage 29% of typical media day: up 62%


According to a newly released National Report from The Media Audit, U.S. adults now spend an average of three hours and seventeen minutes per day online, compared to two hours and two minutes per day a year ago, a 62% increase.  As a result, the Internet now represents 29% of the typical media day for U.S. adults, when compared to time spent with TV, radio, newspaper, and outdoor media such as billboards. The study, which was conducted across 88 U.S. markets between January 2007 and March 2008, also revealed for the first time that adults are spending more time with the Internet than with radio. The average U.S. adult now spends 160 minutes per day listening to radio, or two hours and forty minutes, a figure that has remained unchanged from the previous year.  Although time spent listening to radio has remained unchanged over the past two years, the same report revealed that currently 14.2% of U.S. adults visit a radio web site in a typical 30-day period, many of whom are likely streaming radio content.

Adults continue to spend the most amount of time watching television during a typical day. According to the report, adults spend 222 minutes per day, or three hours and forty-two minutes, a figure that has also remained flat since the previous year. However, television as a percent of the total media day has shrunk from 36.5% in 2006 to 32.7% in 2007.

The Internet’s explosive growth has yet to show any signs of slowing.  Last August, The Media Audit reported a 78% increase in internet usage between 2005 and 2006 when U.S. adults increased daily usage from a mere 69 minutes per day to 122 minutes.  At that time in 2005, the Internet represented only 12.3% of the typical media day for U.S. adults and grew to 20% in 2006.

Currently, radio represents 23.5% of the typical media day for U.S. adults (down from 26.8% in 2006), while newspaper represents 7% (down slightly from 7.7%) and outdoor represents 7.9% (down from 9%).  Time spent with outdoor media is based on a formula combining miles driven in a typical week and average speed.

According to Online research firm Borrell Associates, local online ad spending is predicted to reach $12.6 billion in 2008, largely driven by a demand for paid search advertising. Among the top three advertising categories for local web sites are automotive, recruitment and real estate with the likelihood of political advertising to heat up this summer.

Even more significant among the findings is the percent increase among Hispanics and African Americans who use the Internet.  The average time spent on the Internet among Hispanics is now 203 minutes per day, a figure that now exceeds the average for all U.S. adults. The figure represents an 81% increase since 2006 when Hispanics spent only 112 minutes per day online. The average time spent on the Internet among African Americans is now 226 minutes per day, also higher than the average for all U.S. adults. This figure represents a 93% increase since 2006, when the average time spent Online for African Americans was only 117 minutes per day.