Nielsen Report Provides Shocking Statistics about Digital Media Usage

On March 5, Nielsen, a market research firm, released “An Era of Growth: the Cross-Platform Report” that contained information on trends in digital media usage. The company performed this research with the intent to understand the consumer better and to gain information on electronic media usage, particularly with mobile devices. One of the most shocking statistics that Nielsen found was that the average American adults spends 11 hours per day with electronic media. Surprisingly, the top two activities that adults spend with electronic media is watching live TV and listening to the radio, closely followed by smartphones, internet on a PC, and timeshifted TV.


As noted earlier, Nielsen particularly surveyed mobile platform users, especially with video and internet usage on the go with a mobile device. A statistic that I found interesting from this was that smartphones are not specific to one gender – the report found that 50 percent of smartphone users are female and 50 percent are male. However, women tend to spend more time with apps and browsing the web than men do. This trend also followed over into the tablet market as well, as women were found to use apps on a tablet 5 hours more than men monthly, and two hours more on the mobile web via their tablets than men per month. I wonder why women tend to spend more time with their devices than men do.


I also thought it was interesting that the majority of smartphone users aren’t teenagers or young adults anymore, but rather people ages 35 – 54, something that I would not have predicted from my own observations. Something I could have predicted, however, is the television usage rates per age group. 45 percent of television users are ages 55 and up, while the lowest percentage are ages 18 – 24 and only 8 percent. I do wish that Nielsen could have included survey results from the age group 10 to 18 as well, as smart phones are very popular with teenagers and pre-teens and would’ve yielded interesting results to compare.

In the narrative precluding the statistics of the report, Nielsen notes that they are now able to measure audiences of broadcast and digital video on mobile devices with both linear and dynamic ad models. This is why these statistics are so relevant – because we are in a huge era of growth regarding the mobile platform, and as Nielsen says, “The quality of information is more important than ever.” This is relevant to advertisers, the TV and entertainment industry, the mobile device and technology industry, and above all, consumers, as we need to understand how we use these technologies and whether it is to our benefit or detriment.




Nielsen (2014). An Era of Growth: The Cross-Platform Report (Q4 2013). Retrieved from

Petronzio, M. (2014, March 6). U.S. Adults Spend 11 Hours Per Day With Digital Media [CHART]. Retrieved March 7, 2014, from

7 thoughts on “Nielsen Report Provides Shocking Statistics about Digital Media Usage

  1. These are interesting results. Even though we would not expect the older crowd to use mobile devices, it’s important to realize they are trying to keep up. The 35-55 are still a vital group because they are the ones who spend the most money because they make the most money.


  2. The information I find most interesting is that people still spend the most time watching TV and listening to the radio, which are two mediums that many say are dying. While smart phones and tablets are convenient tools for on the go, they don’t necessarily provide the long-term entertainment functions that TV and radio do.


  3. I find this information interesting because it almost contradicts much of what society and this generation has been saying. TV and Radio are seen to be decreasing mediums, yet there is still a lot of time devoted to watching or listening.


  4. What I found weird about this information was that people my age are not considered to watch Television too often, because I always watch TV in my free time, more than I do anything else. There are so many television shows geared at young people that it surprises me the percentage isn’t higher. Also that the age that uses smartphones is the most is not my age group as well in that society always points my generation out as the technological generation, who is always on their iPhone or iPad etc.


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  6. I can’t believe how much time is spent on electronic media. I knew people spent a lot, but it never occurred to me to count. Now that someone has, I am pretty shocked.


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