The National Institute on Media and the Family has reliable, up-to-date data media usage. It’s focused on children, teen and family media usage, but you can find general populations TV and media statistics as well.. Their Facts section has data on Video Games, Television, Internet & Computers, Music, Media Use, Health & Advertising and more.

Find detailed, reliable and current online media statistics at The Pew Internet & American Life Project, which produces outstanding reports “exploring the impact of the Internet on families, communities, work and home, daily life, education, health care, and civic and political life.” Categories include Online Activities & Pursuits; Demographics; Internet Evolution; Technolgy & Media Use; Health; Family, Friends & Community; Major News Events; Public Policy; E-Gov & E-Policy; Education and Work.. Specific report titles include Teen Content Creators and Consumers, How Women and Men Use the Internet, and Internet as Unique News Source. Highly recommended.

The Online Publishers Association has a wealth of current statistics on online/Internet usage. Use keywords in their search box to find material specific to your inquiry.

See how the video game industry tracks and measures the consumer preferences of video game players at the Consumer Insights page of the Ziff Davis Media Game Group. Tons of statistics on how video gamer players use and feel about Automobiles, Clothing, Credit Cards, Electronics, Fast Foord Leisure, Movies, Music, Personal Care, and TV. (How do they get these numbers? Usually from the little “lifestyle preference” boxes they ask buyers to check off when registering the product.)

The Center for Media Research has constantly updated statistics in the form of Research Briefs, which you can get with a free email subscription. Topics include Streaming Video statistics (by type of streamed media, by age group, how using streaming video affects use of other media, etc.) and others. Only the current Brief is easily available on the site; back issues are available after you register. Their January 2, 2007 Brief summarized findings from a U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2007 revealing that:

  • Adults and teens will spend nearly five months (3,518 hours)in 2007 watching television, surfing the Internet, reading daily newspapers and listening to personal music devices.
  • According to projections from a communications industry forecast, people will spend, in the year 2007:
    • 65 days in front of the TV
    • 41 days listening to radio
    • A little over a week on the Internet in 2007
    • Adults will spend about a week reading a daily newspaper
    • Teens and adults will spend another week listening to recorded music
    • Consumer spending for media is forecasted to be $936.75 per person
  • Among adults, 97 million Internet users sought news online in 2005, 92 million purchased a product and 91 million made a travel reservation. About 16 million used a social or professional networking site and 13 million created a blog.
  • U.S. consumers are projected to spend $55.5 billion to purchase 3.17 billion books in 2007.

Ball State University’s Center for Media Design engages in “research and content development projects that explore how digital technology will touch the way we live, learn, work and play.” Make sure you have a fast connection for this site, which has excellent materials, some free and more priced for the corporate market. A free report: High School Media Too: A School Day in the Lives of Fifteen Teenagers, exploring “the media behaviors of teenagers throughout their day.”

The Digital Future Project at the Center for the Digital Future, USC Annenberg School does an annual report with excellent statistics on overall Internet access and usage, broadband growth, attitudes toward Internet accuracy and reliability, Internet shopping, privacy, email, children and more.

Newspapers are media, too. The Newspaper Association of America has newspaper media statistics on print readership, newspaper website usage, “How America Shops and Spends,” and more.

A Sampling of Media Statistics from other sources you can check for more current data

April 2006: American Demographics and Veronis Suhler Stevenson predict that the average U.S. consumer will spend 575 minutes a day in media usage in 2006 (see table).

2006 Media Usage Predictions (see April 2006)
Media Usage (in minutes per day)
TV 256
Radio 160
Internet 31
Newspapers 29
Recorded music 29
Magazines 20
Books 17
Prerecorded DVD/VCR 14
Video Games 14
Wireless Content 3
Movie Theater 2

June 2005: A Gallup poll reported in Editor and Publisher confirmed that Americans are staying away from the multiplex in droves. Asked if their moviegoing habits had changed in the past five years, nearly half (48%) said they were going out to the theater less. Only 15% said they were seeing more movies, with the rest staying about the same. 19% said they’d go out more often if movie DVDs didn’t come out so quickly. DVD sales now represent three times box office earnings.

March 2004: To mark the 50th anniversary of color television, the U.S. Census Bureau assembled a sampling of statistics from its publications about television and the television industry. Includes data on the number of TVs in households, TV viewing habits, employment, advertising and more. Most statistics are from 2001 but provide a good overview and could be used for providing a basis of comparison to more recent numbers available from the sources above.

The Media Awareness Network has older but potentially still useful pages of statistics. Use keyword “statistics” to search the entire site. Pages include: