The Washington Times

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse

For all the fuss over new media, old-fashioned TV is still by far the most popular medium for all consumers, young and old. In fact, on average, consumers spend only about two minutes a day watching free TV via the Internet and not even a full minute watching mobile video, reports.

The findings, released Thursday in New York during a two-hour presentation, are from a landmark consumer study conducted by the Center for Media Design and Sequent Partners for the Council for Research Excellence at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. Backed by the Nielsen Co. – which spent $3.5 million on the study – CRE was founded four years ago to help guide measurement priorities for Nielsen.

Contrary to popular belief, the study also found that younger consumers are not the biggest consumers of media. The biggest consumers of media are those in the 45-to-54 age group, dubbed the “digital boomer.” The digital boomer, who on average has a daily screen time of 9 1/2 hours, watches a lot of TV but also spends a lot of time on the computer. Screen time for all other age groups, including the 18-to-24 and 25-to-34 age groups, is 8 1/2 hours.

Other findings pointed to the shifting role of media. The computer has replaced radio as the No. 2 media activity. While reach is similar for both – 77 percent for radio and 75 percent for the computer – consumers spend on average two hours and 33 minutes on the computer but just one hour and 49 minutes with radio.

Conducted over a year, the study is considered the largest of its kind. Using observational research, 350 former Nielsen panelists were shadowed by researchers, who observed consumers using media as they went about their daily activities. Data was collected twice, in the spring and fall of last year, in five markets – Seattle, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta and Philadelphia.