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State of the Media: U.S. Digital Consumer Report, Q3-Q4 2011

2 minute read | February 2012

Born sometime between the launch of the VCR and the commercialization of the Internet, Americans 18-34 are redefining media consumption with their unique embrace of all things digital. According to Nielsen and NM Incite’s U.S. Digital Consumer Report, this group—dubbed “Generation C” by Nielsen—is taking their personal connection—with each other and content—to new levels, new devices and new experiences like no other age group.

Platforms For Digital Access
Consumers have more choices than ever for accessing their digital content. As more devices become increasingly connected, the ability to access the same pictures, videos or music files across multiple devices has become a valuable feature.

Cross-Platform Video Engagement
With an array of online video content to choose from, consumers increased their monthly online video time in 3Q 2011 by 7 percent from the same period last year.

A Breakdown of Digital Time By Device
During October 2011, YouTube was the top destination for online video content, accounting for nearly half (45%) of Americans’ total streaming time, while Social Networks/Blogs garnered the most Internet time overall. The majority of mobile phone time was consumed by app usage with Social Networking apps accounting for the nearly 6 percent of mobile time.

1 Screen, 2 Screens, Big Screens, Small Screens
More and more, consumers are multi-tasking across their various screens. Fifty-seven percent of smartphone and tablet owners checked email while watching a TV program—their top activity—and 44 percent visited a social networking site. Advertisers wondering if consumers might miss their message should note that 19 percent of smartphone and tablet owners searched for product information and 16 percent looked up coupons or deals while the television was on.

Social Networking By Device
While nearly all social media users (97%) access social networking sites from their computers, NM Incite, a Nielsen McKinsey company, found that females are more likely than men to read social media content from their eReaders and men are more likely than women to access their social content from an Internet-enabled TV or gaming console.

To Think It Is To Blog It
By the end of 2011, NM Incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey company, tracked over 181 million blogs around the world, up from 36 million in 2006. Three of the top ten social networks in the U.S. during October were true blogs (Blogger,, Tumblr), with a combined 80 million unique visitors. Among the top social networks, Tumblr has shown the strongest growth in visitors, more than doubling its audience from last year.

The Increasing Power Of Mobile Commerce
Mobile is transforming into a powerful commerce tool, facilitating consumer transactions and access to real-time information and deals. Twenty-nine percent of smartphone owners use their phone for shopping-related activities and more than half of mobile users are repeat visitors to daily deal sites. The Groupon app is the 10th most popular app on the iOS platform and ranks 22nd on Android devices.

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