average media use increases
average media use increases
EEvery week my inbox contains the latest “research” results revealing audience and media trends. While oftentimes the results shared seem to directly benefit the sponsor of the communications, occasionally some valuable information arrives that is worth sharing or discussing. Such is the case with research results that showed up in my inbox shortly before the end of last year.

On December 28, eMarketer shared their meta-analysis of data from “dozens of research firms using a variety of methodologies.” Before my professional research friends react to the validity of meta-analysis of disparate research studies, I did find the results to be valuable, whether accurate or not, in terms of understanding both the challenges and opportunities newspapers and newsmedia companies face for growing audience and revenue.

The meta-analysis resulted in a series of estimates of “how much time each day U.S. consumers spend with all major media, regardless of multi-tasking or simultaneous usage.” Keep in mind that eMarketer indicates “estimates apply to average media usage of the general public, not solely to the users of each medium” for 2008 to 2010.

It should come as no surprise that the average time spent each day with all major media has increased over the past two years. According the meta-analysis, U.S. consumers spent an additional 10 minutes per day with major media in 2010 compared to 2009. Total time spent with major media has increased from an average of 635 minutes per day in 2008 to an estimated 660 minutes per day in 2010. The good news is that the U.S. consumer's appetite — and capacity — for news and information continues to grow with the ongoing proliferation of information sources and delivery channels.

Imagine my surprise when I turned the page to learn that the average time per day spent with newspapers increased from 2009 to 2010 (+0.5%). The percentage of time spent each day with TV and video and radio declined 1% from 2009 to 2010, while the Internet and mobile each gained 1% in their share of the average time spent per day with major media.

Most revealing is the fact that newsmedia companies deliver information and reach audiences across multiple “major media” channels. And while you don't see many TV or radio stations with newspapers, you do see newsmedia companies delivering content and audience via their newspaper, Web sites, mobile, online video and pod casts.

The eMarketer meta-analysis served only to reinforce my belief that newsmedia companies in the United States — especially those with paid daily home delivery newspapers — are in the best position to increase local audience delivery and revenue and increase the average time spent per day with their brand(s) across communications channels.