Digital Media

Although some people like to talk about a digital media revolution, a new media usage report from YouGov suggests that it’s more of an evolution. Researchers studied 12 categories of media activities, including digital activities requiring internet connectivity and traditional activities such as watching movies in a theater or attending live in-person events.

The top two activities over the past 12 months were digital, including visiting websites or apps and interacting with social media, referenced by 95% and 88% of respondents respectively. The next two most popular activities, however, were more traditional — watching live TV and listening to the radio, referenced by 87% and 85% of respondents respectively.

The report was based on responses from more than 19,000 global consumers and was conducted during August 2022.

The least popular activities also were a mixture of digital and traditional options. At the bottom were attending live in person events, playing video games and listening to podcasts, referenced by 74%, 66% and 61% of people, respectively.

Media Usage Report

Things aren’t expected to be much different next year. If anything, enthusiasm may be dropping slightly for digital activities. Take the top two categories, for example:

  • During the past year, 39% of respondents increased their visits to websites or apps, 48% stayed about the same and 9% did so less. During the next year, expectations are that 28% will increase, 56% will stay the same and 10% will do so less.
  • During the past year, 30% of respondents increased their interactions with social media. 41% stayed about the same and 9% did so less. During the next year, expectations are that 23% will do so more, 47% will remain about the same and 16% will do so less.

Enthusiasm for the third most popular activity — traditional TV watching — is fading a bit more. During the past year, 23% of respondents watched more TV, 40% stayed about the same and 22% did so less. During the next year, expectations are that 16% will watch more TV, 49% will remain about the same and 17% will do so less. Nevertheless the total percentage of people watching at least some TV will decrease only two percentage points — from 87% to 85%.

Unsurprisingly, some digital activities were most popular with younger people. For example, 94% of 18-24 year olds and 96% of 25-34 year olds interacted with social media over the last 12 months, compared with 78% of people over 55.

It was also no surprise that watching TV was most popular with those over 55, with 90% in that age group referencing it, compared with 83% of people age 18 to 24 and 84% of people age 25-34.

In comparing the YouGov media usage report with a 2021 report from Pew Research Center, it appears that social media has become more popular among all age groups. That report showed just 84% of those age 18-29 using social media and just 73% of those age 50-64 doing so.

Carl Weinschenk contributed to this report

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