US Adults Added One Hour of Digital Time in 2020
Amid the pandemic, US adults spent 1 hour more per day on digital activities (across all devices) than they did in 2019, according to eMarketer. Total digital time is now on track to surpass 8 hours by the end of 2022.
In 2020, US adults spent 7 hours, 50 minutes (7:50) per day consuming digital media, up 15.0% from 6:49 in 2019, the biggest increase since 2012. It’s also considerably higher than our Q1 2020 projection (7:31). Digital time accounted for 57.5% of adults’ daily media time in 2020, and that figure will reach 60.2% by 2022.
“Time spent with almost all digital devices experienced an uptick in 2020,” said eMarketer forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence Zach Goldner. “Connected TVs and video game consoles are the main beneficiaries of the cord-cutting trend due to increases in the number of subscription OTT and ad-free video-on-demand users and content offerings.”
US adults Social Network Time was 1:05, up from 56 minutes in 2019. Digital Video Time increased to 2:13, from 1:46 in 2019, while Digital Audio Time was 1:29, up from 1:22 in 2019. “As normalcy returns in 2021, overall digital consumption will hold all of last year’s gains,” Goldner said. “Desktop/laptop time will return to negative growth this year, but smartphone time will more than make up the difference.”
Smartphones are driving a significant portion of adults’ total digital time. In fact, smartphone time surpassed 3 hours for the first time in 2020 (3:13), up from 2:45 in 2019. Looking ahead, growth in digital time will continue, albeit at much smaller rates. US adults’ daily digital time will gain another 7 minutes in 2021 to 7:57. It will then surpass 8 hours (8:02) in 2022 for the first time.