Trends in Consumers’ Time Spent with Media

DECEMBER 28, 2010

There are only so many hours per day that consumers can spend watching TV, reading newspapers and surfing the internet. But as marketers may suspect, the time devoted to media is undergoing some not-so-subtle changes.

eMarketer recently conducted a meta-analysis of data from dozens of research firms using a variety of methodologies. The result is a series of estimates of how much time consumers spend with all major media, regardless of multitasking or simultaneous usage, from 2008 to 2010. The estimates apply to average media usage of the general public, not solely to the users of each medium.


The average time spent with all major media combined increased from about 10.6 hours in 2008 to 11 hours in 2010, according to eMarketer. TV and video (not including online video) captured the lion’s share of all media time, about 40% each year. The  share of media time increased over the same period, from 21.5% to 23.5%, as did mobile’s share, from 5% to 7.5%. The share of time spent with magazines and newspapers fluctuated between 10% and 7.5%, while radio and all other media—video games, movies in theaters and outdoor media—declined.

Time for Baby Boomers to Retire? Don’t Count on It

By MATTHEW SCOTT Posted 10:00 AM 02/17

This year, the first members of the baby boomer generation will come of age for retirement. But as this milestone passes, a recent survey suggests many feel they will have to work at least four years longer than they originally planned, due to the recent economic downturn. It appears the Great Recession may have tarnished the boomer’s golden years forever.

Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, number 77 million and represent about 37% of the nation’s total population aged 16 or older. According to an American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) survey of CPA financial planners, 79% said they had at least one boomer client who has delayed retirement because of the economy. When asked how many extra years those boomer clients expected to work, the CPAs said 32.3% responded that they needed 1 to 3 years, 39.3% said 4 to 6 years, 9.8% said 7 to 10 years, and 3.7% said more than 10 years.

This grim view of retirement lingers — despite the fact that many people are feeling more confident about the financial markets and the rebounding U.S. economy. What may be even more depressing, however, is that the people who have the financial assets to make them relatively well-prepared for retirement still feel that they will have to work additional years into retirement. The CPAs surveyed have clients who typically have between $500,000 and $5 million in assets. So if those folks feel they will have to work more years before retiring, it’s hard to fathom what people without such nest eggs may be facing.

The one thing boomers seem to be certain about is that they’ll need to get a little more silver if they hope to enjoy their golden years.