US daily smartphone time surpassed 3 hours in 2020

US adults added 1 more hour to their daily digital time during the pandemic and spent over 3 hours per day using their smartphones for the first time in 2020, according to eMarketer

Last year, US adults spent an average of 7 hours and 50 minutes a day in digital media consumption with a 15% increase from 2019 when the average digital time stood at 6 hours and 49 minutes. This accounted for 57.5% of the average daily media time in 2020 and is expected to surpass 60% in 2022.

“Time spent with almost all digital devices experienced an uptick in 2020,” said Zach Goldner, eMarketer forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence. “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.”


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According to eMarketer’s data, in 2020, social network time hit 1 hour 5 minutes (56 mins in 2019), digital video time hit 2 hours 13 minutes (1:46 in 2019) and digital audio time surpassed 1 hour 29 minutes (1:22 in 2019) in the United States. 

Smartphone time also broke a new record with US adults spending over 3 hours (3:13) using their mobile phones per day. The average was 2:45 in 2019.


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According to Goldner; the increase in digital consumption will continue in 2021. “Desktop/laptop time will return to negative growth this year, but smartphone time will more than make up the difference,’’ he said. 

Written by Sophie Blake

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