Media meshing grows in US

09 January 2012

NEW YORK: Consumers in the US are continuing to mesh their use of traditional and new media, as the trend towards integration between these channels gathers pace, a report has shown.

Deloitte, the business services giant, partnered with the Harrison Group, the survey firm, to poll 2,000 people aged 14–75 about their media habits.

According to the findings, 42% of American households now possess at least one smartphone, a lift on the 25% recorded on this measure in similar research last year.

The number of interviewees hoping to buy one of these gadgets in 2012 also reached 52%, an increase of 12 percentage points on 2010.

Some 78% of smartphone subscribers regularly sent text messages, up from 71% in 2009, and 46% use mobile search, a jump from 30%. A further 37% had utilised GPS services, and 19% undertook online banking using the same channel.

Turning to TV, 44% of the sample had a digital video recorder, and DVRs are currently the second most popular way for people to view their favourite TV show.

While cable and satellite TV services remain highly valued among many customers, 9% of the panel had "cut the cord" and 11% were considering doing so.

Overall, 15% of participants said they were "most likely" to watch movies, TV shows and video from online sources in the future.

Elsewhere, 36% were interested in downloading books, magazines and newspapers to digital devices, expanding on the 23% yielded in 2007.

Looking to newspapers, exactly 20% of "millennials", or 23–28 year olds, had read material from their preferred newspaper on a smartphone in the six months before the survey, versus 9% last year.

Another 11% of millennials agreed wireless devices constituted the most enjoyable way to access newspaper content, an improvement on the 3% registered 12 months earlier.

The analysis also revealed that 42% of respondents had streamed at least one film, easily beating the 28% posted in 2009. The proportion of contributors stating this was their favourite way to watch movies climbed from 4% to 14% in this period.

Data sourced from Deloitte; additional content by Warc staff