Data Monday: American Information Consumption

by Luke Wroblewski December 13, 2009

As the growth of content sources and channels continues, it's interesting to see just how much time Americans spend consuming media.

  • American households collectively consumed 3.6 zettabytes of information in 2008. (source)
  • The average American consumes 34 gigabytes of content and 100,000 words (cross our eyes and ears) of information in a single day. (source)
  • Most Americans consume 11.8 hours of information a day. (source)
  • From 1980 to 2008, the number of bytes we consume has increased 6 percent each year -adding up to a 350 percent increase over 28 years. (source)
  • Watching TV-related content takes up a little over four and a half hours of daily information consumption. The computer takes up about two hours a day. (source)
  • Radio and TV still dominate consumption per day, with a total of 60 percent of the hours. (source)
  • Reading, which was in decline due to the growth of television, tripled from 1980 to 2008, because it is the overwhelmingly preferred way to receive words on the Internet.(source)
  • Consumers of all ages spend the majority of their video time (nearly 99%) in front of the television. (source)
  • In addition, each week the average consumer spent 4 hours on the Internet and 22 minutes watching online video. (source)
  • The average consumer spent 3 minutes watching mobile video each week. (source)
  • DVR and Online Video continue to show solid growth – up 21.1% and 34.9% respectively in time spent from Third Quarter 2008. (source)
  • Americans consume media at a record pace – 129 hrs of TV, 27 hrs of Internet, 3 hrs of mobile video each month. (source)
  • 57% of Americans with home Internet access use TV and Internet simultaneously at least once a month. (source)
  • Time spent viewing video on social networking sites increased 98% from October 2008 to October 2009. (source)
  • Mobile video viewing continues to grow, with 15.7 million Americans viewing video on their mobile phones in Q309, an increase of +53% versus last year. (source)