In a recent survey done by the folks at eMarketer, they discovered that America’s adults are now spending more time with their mobile device than they are with newspapers and magazines. An average adult spends 65 minutes a day staring into their smartphone’s screen, versus 26 minutes for newspapers and 18 minutes for magazines. In other words: 65 minutes in front of a phone, 44 minutes with dead trees. Now that’s not to say that people aren’t looking at their favorite old media brands on a smartphone screen, eMarketer’s data doesn’t specify what exactly people are doing on their handset, so for all we know all those 65 minutes could be time spent hurling birds at pigs. When it comes to television viewing, people are actually watching 10 minutes more this year compared to last year, which can either be explained by high unemployment, so people stay at home and stare at the boob tube, or there might actually be compelling content being provided by the networks.
Back to the mobile devices, to further corroborate eMarketer’s finding we’d like to point out an interview done between Roy Greenslade at The Guardian and Andrew Rashbass, the Chief Executive of The Economist. Andrew polled his own readers about they consume The Economist, and this results speak for themselves:
“A survey among its US subscribers asked those aged over 40 how they read the Economist – more than 95% said they read it in print. But when asked how they expect to read it in two years’ time, the number expecting to do so in print fell to 35%. ‘I’ve never seen a statistic like it,’ says Rashbass.”
That pretty much sums it up. People like screens, and paper is going the way of the dodo. That saddens us to some extent, since the best feature of paper is that it doesn’t come with any distractions. It’s just you and the page. Oh well, bring on the iPad 3 and whatever ultra high resolution Android tablet Samsung is bound to release in 2012!