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Infographic: Crossing the Digital Divide

We’ve seen this coming for quite some time, but now we’re here. 2013 marks the first year U.S. adults spent more time viewing media on digital devices – more than any other form. It appears that print, radio and even television have officially become unseated as dominant sources of media.

crossing the digital divide

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Facts and Stats To Tweet:

  1. Since 2008, about 170 newspapers have shut down in the U.S. »tweet«
  2. In June 2012 Netflix subscribers streamed over 1 billion hours of content. »tweet«
  3. 34% of U.S. adults own a tablet, up from 3% in May 2010. »tweet«

Fast Facts


  • In 2012, US internet users spent 27% of their online time on social, 15% on entertainment, 9% on shopping, and 27% on “other”.
  • In 2012, 33% of US adults under 30 got their news from social media. 34% watched TV news and 13% read print or digital newspaper content.


  • Among young US adults (ages 18-24) TV viewership has declined from 26.78 hours per month in Q1 2011 to 23.40 hours per month in Q1 2013.


  • According to the Radio Advertising Bureau, radio revenues increased 1% in 2011 to $17.4 billion. This is much less than the 6% revenue growth in 2010; but the radio industry did have more revenue to recover due to the recession.
  • Due to pressure from streaming music services like Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, and Slacker, many radio stations have introduced their own streaming services. Radio giant Clear Channel introduced their “iHeartRadio” app, CBS Radio introduced the “Radio” app, and many stations have their own individual apps and streaming.


  • Magazine circulation declined each year from 2008-2011 (2012 data unknown):
    • 2008: -1.1%
    • 2009: -2.2%
    • 2010: -1.5%
    • 2011: -1.0%
  • From 2003 to 2010, newspaper ad revenues have fallen by -49.27%. Online advertising for newspapers has grown 150.16%. Total revenues have fallen -44.01%.
  • Nearly every magazine or newspaper is now available in digital form through iTunes or the Kindle Store.


  • 56% of American adults own a smartphone.
  • In 2012, 31% of smartphone users in the US got their news on that device.
  • 15.2% of North America’s web traffic comes from mobile.


  • A survey done in the UK, US, and Australia asked 510 people to keep track of what they did with their three most used devices (tablet, smartphone, computer). For tablet, 81% of respondents said they used it for email, 69% said they use it to read the news, 63% said they check weather, 62% said social networking, and 60% said gaming. It’s fair to assume streaming content is now in the top 5. Netflix is always in the top 50 for most downloaded apps.

Feature Phone:

  • Over 110 million feature phone users have yet to migrate to a smartphone.
  • In Quarter 2 2013, it’s estimated that 210 million feature phones were sold worldwide compared to 225 million smartphones. This marks the first time where smartphones outsold feature phones in worldwide sales.


  • “Cord Cutter” is a term to describe a person who has no cable TV subscription and instead gets all their media and video content through various internet services.
  • The cord cutter population is growing. By year end 2013, there will be an estimated 4.7 million US cord cutters.
  • In 2012, 33% of US adults under 30 got their news from social media. 34% watched TV news and 13% read print or digital newspaper content.
  • US Internet Users:
    • 2010: 221.0 million (71.2% of entire US population)
    • 2011: 229.2 million (73.2%)
    • 2012: 236.9 million (74.9%)
    • 2013: 244.1 million (76.5%)
  1. What a fantastically straightforward infographic. Thanks for providing!

  2. Digital is on the Roll :)

    Digital Podcasts seems to be a thing which you might have missed which is replacing traditional radio.

    • Good point, Omnicore. It’s nice to see radio stations embrace podcasts (likely because of force), but the economics are terrible for them. They bring in little to no revenue for the business but provide a great service for listeners. Even if they do include commercials, listeners will just fast forward through them.

      I’d be interested in seeing the rise in them as well, but a lot of those metrics are private. A local radio station in my area actually posts their download numbers and it’s not too impressive:

      I think it’s a generational thing; gen y people are more likely to download podcasts, where gen x either aren’t familiar with it or just enjoy live radio.

      It’s certainly an interesting conundrum for the radio industry…times are definitely changing.

  3. I disagree the context. since most of the TV as well as radio content is getting digitized and is accessible via the Internet. internet has just become the carrier to get the content to the consumer in a non-linear access format. Ergo, the legacy platforms are passe…not the media/medium. The radio content format will continue to thrive as more and more podcasts and talk shows get launched via the Internet….similarly television programming will transform to adapt to a non-linear viewing habit, by the core format may not change drastically.

    • Hi Venkat,
      I understand what you’re saying and can see what you mean.

      According to the article that this infographic is based off of, 2 hours and 21 minutes of the 5 hours and 16 minutes was spent on non mobile voice activities. I’m guessing a lot of this is spent on apps such as social networking, news, weather, videos, etc. I have no doubt that people are spending less time watching broadcast television (NBC, CBS, FX, TBS, etc) over their TV and spending more time watching streaming (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, YouTube, etc) over their TV. So what does this mean for marketers in the TV advertising space?


  4. I agree with others on this. Also, we might want to relook at the definition of the mediums – What do we mean when we say Digital vs Television vs Radio? With devices like chromecast and apple TV, we are streaming digital content on a TV.

    • Hi Parveen,
      Digital is described as Online, Mobile (nonvoice), and Other. Online means all internet activities on desktop or laptop.

      I totally agree with you – more time is spent on TV streaming videos. But for the majority of US adults, they are spending most of their TV time watching broadcast TV, but overall TV consumption time is declining while digital (including tablets) is increasing. People are consuming video via new transmissions.

  5. Incredibly informative yet simple, I like it! Although the data provided doesn’t surprise me, it’s nice to have hard statistics.

  6. Kimberlee Morrison Aug 23, 2013 at 6:39 am

    The digital divide isn’t just about how much time adults spend online but rather the gap between those who have access and those who don’t. Hinting that the digital divide is less so based solely on how people with access are consuming media is conflating the issue. There is no real reason to make such a correlation based on this information. Perhaps what you meant was that media was crossing the digital *chasm* in reference to Geoffrey Moore’s theory on how things go mainstream. However, the digital divide is another issue entirely.

  7. Very nice article. With increasing number of computers and internet connectivity, TV and Radio, the conventional medium of communication are walking towards dead-zone. Mobile killed telephone, TV killed Radio & Laptops killed desktops. Now smartphone will kill mobiles and internet is going to kill other media sources.
    Internet and social media have taken the world by storm.

  8. darren veerapa Aug 26, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Hello, please let me know where you got the data from?

  9. Very Nice Article we should have get more knowledge about it because internet users are growing everyday so that we know everything about it..

  10. Bernardo de la Vega Aug 29, 2013 at 1:22 am

    Wow great article, really good info. I am going to share the Infographic on my site. Thanks for this info

  11. Great article, simple and informative. It’s nice to see some precise facts and figures on the growing audiences and platforms they arise on. More important than ever to have a fully responsive website. I’ve been working on getting mine cross compatible for a while now.

    Thanks alot, will keep an eye on this blog!

  12. Really Neil you are the awesome guy in this whole blogging community. Thanks for sharing, I have learned all traffic generation methods from you and your blog. Also webinars helped me achieving my goals. thanks.


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