2012 Research

Data Snapshot: Communications and Media Benchmark

April 2012

This data snapshot examines media consumption and communications patterns of 10,000 U.S. consumers. The report contains 23 data charts that cover topics such as the hours per day consumers spend on TV, radio, and the Internet, their use of social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, their use of mobile websites and mobile apps, and their preferred ways to contact friends. This data snapshot also examines the differences in these media and communications patterns across age groups of consumers.

The first section of the report looks at the hours per day that consumers spend consuming media. As you can see, TV watching and going on the Internet take up a large portion of consumers’ lives.

Here are some of the key insights from the report:

  • Consumers younger than 44 listen to the radio 2.3 hours per day, but there’s a sharp drop off for older consumers.
  • Across online and offline formats, consumers younger than 35 spend about three hours per day reading books, which is twice the rate of those older than 64. This ratio is about the same for reading news as well.
  • While daily use of paper books is ahead of e-book use by 38 percentage points, the number of consumers that read at least three hours per day is roughly the same online and offline.
  • A quarter of consumers read or update Facebook several times per day and more than half of consumers younger than 45 use Facebook daily.
  • About one-fifth of consumers younger than 35 use Twitter daily but use falls off dramatically in higher age groups.
  • Those who use LinkedIn are more likely to use it weekly or monthly compared to daily or yearly. The most active users of LinkedIn are 25- to 34-year olds.
  • Nearly one-third of consumers use mobile apps daily; usage ranges from 54% of consumers in their twenties to 3% of consumers that are 75 or older.
  • The three most preferred communications channels for reaching friends are calling on a cell phone (33%), sending a text message (24%), and calling on a home phone (21%).
  • Across all age groups, women have a higher propensity for texting and men have a higher propensity for calling on a cell phone.


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