Digital-media use to pass 15 hours a day

Americans are spending more time on their digital devices, and that won’t change for years, according to a new study.

The University of Southern California report released this week shows that Americans consume “an enormous amount” of media via television, radio, phone and computer, amounting to an average of 63 gigabytes per person per day last year. All told, total U.S. media consumption reached 1.46 trillion hours in 2012, an average of 13.6 hours per person per day, a year-over-year increase of 5 percent.

In comparison, U.S. media consumption averaged 33 gigabytes per person per day in 2008. That year, Americans viewed and listened to media for 1.3 trillion hours, an average of 11 hours per person per day.

Those numbers are expected to increase in the coming years.

By 2015, data indicate that Americans will consume media for more than 1.7 trillion hours, an average of 15.5 hours per person per day. Mobile messaging hours, which last year accounted for about 9 percent of voice call hours, will double to more than 18 percent of voice hours, a year-over-year growth rate of more than 27 percent, the report said.

The study also found that viewing video on the Internet, which averaged fewer than 3 hours a month in 2008 and nearly 6 hours a month last year, will increase to nearly 11 hours a month by 2015.

The study, “How Much Media? 2013 Report on American Consumers,” was produced by the Institute for Communication Technology Management at USC’s Marshall School of Business.

Researchers broke media down into 30 categories and incorporated data from firms such as Nielsen, Arbitron, ComScore, investor and analyst firms, government sources and foundation and research publications.

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