by Katy Bachman

New findings from Ball State University’s Center for Media Design study show that how people are exposed to media is better defined by how they spend time time with various media, including their media multitasking habits, time of day, day of week and location.

“We know Americans spend about nine hours daily with radio, television, magazine, newspaper, computer and other media, but looking at media use solely in accumulated total minutes barely scrates the surface of how we use various media,” said Michael Holmes, CMD faculty research fellow and communication studies professor.

The conclusions of CMD’s latest white paper are based on data collected over three months last spring from 400 people in Muncie and Indianapolis for the CMD’s 3005 Middletown Media Studies 2, which produced information on more than 5,000 hours of media use.

When using more than one medium at once, consumers paid significant attention to magazines. Newspapers ranked a distant second, but attracted more attention compared to the Internet, radio or TV when more than one medium was used.

“The findings are good news for magazines and other print media,” said Wayne Eadie, senior vp of research for the Magaziine Publishers of America, which requested CMD’s latest analysis.

Other findings of the study:

Magazines are the medium with the largest proportion of time used at “other” locations, due, in part, to print publications found in public places where people wiat for services. Magazines show heavier readership on Mondays and Fridays, while newspaper readership, which occurs mostly in mornings, peaks on Sundays. TV exposure is lowest on weekends, as is radio and the Internet.

Almost half of all magazine exposure is experienced with TV in the background. For newspapers, 51.6 percent of all newsspaper time is spent with TV in the background.

As expected, media exposure changes over the course of the day. Magazines have a low, steady incidence of exposure for 5 percent of the participants throughout the day.

Newspapers have a greater incidenced of exposure in the morning, dropping to a profile similar to magazines for the rest of the day.

Televisions’ use is high in the mornings for news, falling throughout the day, then rises to a high of 70 percent for evening viewing.

Radio maintains a relatively steady incidence of exposure through the morning, declining in the evening. Like radio, Internet exposure is highest during the work day.