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Decreased Media Usage Hurts Ad Market

Mobile only channel with rising media time

US ad spending was down in 2009 as marketers and consumers alike tightened their belts during the recession. And while Americans looked to save money and trim expenses, they also began to spend less time with media, causing a worse drop in ad spending, according to the Yankee Group.

Online was the largest segment of media time in 2009, followed by TV and video, music and radio, and mobile phone usage.

Overall, US consumers spent less than 12 hours a day with media on average. That was down from nearly 14 hours daily in 2008, a 17% decrease. Yankee Group speculated in its report that the recession may have left Americans too stressed to enjoy as much media consumption as the previous year.

Activities decreased almost across the board, with reading, music and radio, and TV and video dropping most dramatically. The only increase in time spent was with mobile phones. Talk time on mobile was up 12%, while average daily mobile Web use rose 36% to 11 minutes. Texting was also up, by 55%, to take up 27 minutes a day in 2009.

Yankee Group’s picture of media consumption differs from others, including Nielsen’s “Three Screen Report.” For Q4 2009, Nielsen reported TV time was up and significantly higher than Internet usage. Nielsen relies on automated data collection, while Yankee Group polled US consumers. In addition, Yankee Group includes both personal and work Internet usage in its media consumption study, while Nielsen excludes work time.

“Yankee Group believes the transparency in our consumer attention model provides a more accurate picture of consumer demand for media, while automated systems are more tuned to determining media supply,” said the report. “As connected devices flourish and multiply in consumers’ lives, we further believe this attention-driven model will rise in importance as consumers struggle with an increasing tyranny of too much media.”

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Check out today’s other article, “Web Tops Mobile Research Channels in Canada.”

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