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Broadband and Media Consumption

If TV and the Web are competing for attention, TV is still winning.

June 7, 2007

TV and radio consumption tends to be less in cities that have high broadband penetration rates, according to The Media Audit's "National 2006 Report." In contrast, people in cities with lower broadband penetration rates tend to watch more TV and listen to more radio.

For example, Ann Arbor, Mich., has one of the highest broadband penetration rates in the country, with nearly two-thirds of the population using high-speed Internet connections. The average Ann Arbor adult spent 145 minutes listening to radio and 205 minutes watching TV per day.

Time Spent with Select Media on a Typical Day by US Adults in the Markets with the Highest Broadband Penetration, 2006 (minutes per day)

In Buffalo, N.Y., which has one of the lowest broadband penetration rates in the country, the average adult spent 242 minutes watching TV and 187 minutes listening to radio per day.

So does that mean Internet usage is displacing TV and radio?

Not necessarily. This is not a zero-sum game. In fact, adults consumed more total media minutes on average per day (603.64) in the five cities with lower broadband penetration rates mentioned in the report than did adults in the five cities with the highest broadband penetration rates (586.85). As Buffalo and its neighbors add more broadband connections, residents could add another 17 minutes of daily Internet usage without altering their other media habits.

Bridge Ratings has concluded that overall TV time is growing. Bridge estimated that US adults ages 25 to 49 spent five hours with TV per day as of Q1 2006, a steady increase from Q4 2004.

Daily Usage of Select Media by US Adults Ages 25-49, Q4 2004-Q1 2006 (hours:minutes)

Despite TiVo, the Internet, video games and other entertainment options, time spent viewing TV continues to increase.

Not everyone tunes in at the same time to the same show like when there were only three channels, but that type of collective experience has been on the decline for the better part of half a century.

Find out where broadband is spreading most quickly. Read the eMarketer Broadband Worldwide: 2005-2011 report.


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