No Surprise -- Use Of Social Media Explodes
Almost Half Of Americans Have Profiles Says New Study
April 8, 2010 at 1:46 PM (PT)
The percentage of Americans age 12 and older who have a profile on one or more social networking websites has reached almost half (48%) of the population in 2010 -- double the level from two years ago (24% in 2008), according to the new national survey from ARBITRON and EDISON RESEARCH, The Infinite Dial 2010: Digital Platforms and the Future of Radio.
The new study, released TODAY (4/8), also reveals that consumer use of social networking sites is not just a youth phenomenon. While nearly eight in ten teens (78%) and 18 to 24s (77%) have personal profile pages, almost two-thirds of 25 to 34s (65%) and half of 35 to 44s (51%) also now have personal profile pages. The study also shows that 30% of Americans age 12 and older, who have a profile on at least one social networking website, use those sites "several times a day" compared with only 18% one year ago.
For the first time, more Americans say the Internet is 'most essential' to their lives when given a choice along with television, radio, and newspapers; 42% chose the Internet as "most essential," with 37% selecting television, 14% cho
"The use of social networking sites has expanded beyond younger consumers, with substantial numbers of Americans over the age of 35 now using social media," said ARBITRON SVP/Marketing BILL ROSE.
"Social networking has become a part of mainstream media behavior," added EDISON VP/Strategy and Marketin TOM WEBSTER.
Since 1998, this research series has reported on and analyzed consumer use of the Internet, digital platforms and their impact on radio.
"Americans continue to hold radio in high regard, with nearly eight in 10 saying they plan to listen to as much AM/FM radio in the future as they do now -- despite advances of technology," noted ROSE.
"Younger consumers show interest in radio on mobile phones," said WEBSTER. "More than four in ten mobile phone owners age 12 to 24 say they would listen more to FM radio if a tuner were built into those phones."
Key Findings About Radio Aand Digital Platforms
* Nearly one in four Americans has listened to audio from an iPOD or other mp3 player connected to a car stereo: Although consumers often have to deal with myriad adapters and other barriers to in-car listening, 54% of iPOD/mp3 player owners have listened to their device in their car; this equates to 24% of all persons age 12 and older having listened to an iPOD, iPHONE or other mp3 player while connected to a car stereo.
* Three in 10 12-24s are "very interested" in online radio in the car and on mobile devices: Among those age 12 to 24, 30% are "very interested" in listening to online radio in-car, while 28% are "very interested" in listening to online radio on mobile devices.
* Consumers say radio station websites are improved but TV and print sites are leading the local battle: Nearly half of people age 12 and older give credit to radio for improvements in their websites. 48% say that radio station websites have gotten more interesting compared to 17% believing them to be worse or less interesting. However, monthly visitation to radio station websites (16%) among persons 12+ lags visitation to local TV and local newspaper websites.
Other Key Findings
* The Internet passes TV as most essential medium in Americans’ lives: For the first time, more Americans say the Internet is "most essential" to their lives when given a choice along with television, radio and newspapers; 42% chose the Internet as "most essential," with 37% selecting television, 14% choosing radio, and 5% said newspapers. While television still leads among those over the age of 45, Internet dominates among younger persons age 12 to 44.
* More than six in 10households with Internet access have a Wi-Fi network at home: 62% of homes with Internet access have wireless network set-ups in their homes, more easily enabling the consumption of digital media in any room of their home, as more and more devices feature built-in Wi-Fi such as the new Apple iPAD.
* Texting has become a daily activity for nearly half of all mobile phone owners: Nearly half of mobile phone owners (45%) age 12 and older text multiple times a day. Three-quarters of teens (75%) and persons age 18 to 24 (76%) text multiple times a day compared with nearly two-thirds (63%) of 25 to 34s; and four in 10(42%) 35 to 44s and 45 to 54s (37%).
* Broadband access has leveled and growth has stabilized for some digital platforms: Growth of residential broadband has leveled off, with 84% of homes with Internet access having broadband connections. The slower growth of residential broadband is associated with little year over year change in weekly usage of online radio (17%) and online video (29%). The study suggests that expanded use of use of mobile devices and in-car Internet may spark the next wave of growth.
[Putting email aside, do you text or instant message? How about Tweet on Twitter? And, what about maintaining a Facebook or MySpace page? Is it worth it, or is it a mindless timesuck? Comment, below!]