How much media do you consume each day? Let’s find out.

This Nielsen study of media consumption is out of the US, but I’m willing to bet that a lot of it can be applied to Canadian habits.

In the first quarter of this year, American adults (i.e. people 18+) spent nearly one-half of their day (11 hours and 6 minutes) consuming some kind of media. We can break things down this way:

  • About 4 hours of live TV (a few minutes higher than at the end of last year)
  • About 2 hours and 30 minutes on a smartphone
  • Close to 2 hours of radio
  • 47 minutes on a table
  • 39 minutes watching/listening to media on a computer
  • 36 minutes of time-shifted TV
  • 22 minutes on some kind of Internet-connected device (a smart speaker, maybe?)
  • 14 minutes on a game console
  • 6 minutes with a DVD/Blu-ray

Drilling down to specific demographics, the average person 18-34 spends an average of 29% of their media day with live TV, which is equal to the time they spend on their smartphones. About 16% of the day is spent with radio, which is equal to all the other demos right up to age 65.

One more: The average American spends 45 minutes per day on some kind of social media.

If you want the full study, go here.


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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