August 5, 2013 Last Updated 2:35 pm

There are only so many hours in a day: eMarketer finds digital edges out other forms of media

The digital marketing website published a very interesting post late last week on the time consumers spend on various forms of major media: US Time Spent on Mobile to Overtake Desktop. The findings are not terribly surprising – mobile media growth in accelerating – but putting numbers on the trend does reveal traditional media’s problem. There are only so many hours in the day.

According to eMarketer, digital now accounts 44.4 percent of the time spent on major media. Television now comes in second, falling to 38.1 percent.

Print continues its slide. Even in 2010 print only accounted for 7.7 percent of the time spent, while digital was at just under 30 percent. But in just a few years print has fallen to 4.5 percent of time spent on major media.

Shareoftimemedia-lgThe reason for the change is simple: mobile. Consumers now spend more time with mobile media than any other form of media other than television. Mobile has even surpassed traditional online media – that is, desktop and laptop consuming of media. In fact, the time spent on “online” (meaning desktop and laptop) has fallen from a high of 22.6 percent in 2011 to 19.5 percent today.

I would think that most consumers would tell you that their online media consumption has fallen. To them, reading a website through a tablet or smartphone is the same as a laptop – only the device has changed.

eMarketer says that this report is the first time they have broken out smartphones and tablets. What they are finding is that their use continues to grow, with “online” (again, that means PCs) declining only slightly. A find that consumers are spending more time in front of their phones and tablets shouldn’t be a big surprise, but it is good to see in numbers what this means for other media – and, as usual, it is print that is suffering the most.

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