US rich still heavy consumers of traditional media

Findings from the 2014 Ipsos Affluent Survey USA suggest that ‘Affluents’ are early adopters and heavy users of technology, but are also heavy consumers of traditional media. Affluents” are defined as adults aged 18+ living in households with at least $100,000 in annual household income – approximately 23 per cent of US households). This segment is considered vital to the US economy, spending $2.0 trillion annually across a range of products and services.

The study also documents how Affluent lives are increasingly intertwined with technology. For example, among Affluents:

  • 88 per cent visited one of 12 measured social networks in the previous week, led by Facebook, which was visited by 70 per cent of Affluents for an average of 5.7 hours

  • 64 per cent paid bills with a computer, smartphone or tablet in the past 30 days

  • 58 per cent use an iPhone or iPad, up from 53 per cent in 2013

  • 48 per cent now personally own a tablet, up from 9 per cent in 2011, and 77 per cent now have a tablet in the household

  • 47 per cent have a TV connected to the Internet, 23 per cent own a Smart TV, and 23 per cent have a TV connected to a digital media receiver or streaming device – figures up significantly from 2013

  • Roughly half of smartphone and tablet owners made a purchase on their device in the past year

  • 10 million Affluents now have a mobile payment/wallet app, an increase of 49 per cent from 2013

While ownership of mobile devices and the consumption of digital media continue to rise, the study finds use of traditional media to be highly similar to previous years, and clearly demonstrates that traditional media are alive, well and integral to Affluent lives. Buoyed by the growing Affluent population, the number of Affluents who read a print publication rose 6 per cent to 53.5 million; the total duplicated average-issue audience (AIA) also rose 6 per cent, to 219.2 million. On an individual level, print publication readership remains highly similar to 2013. For example, 79 per cent of Affluents read one of the 140 reported print publications (133 magazines and 7 national newspapers), down only slightly from 81 per cent in 2013; Affluent readers averaged reading 16.6 print publication issues from 7.4 titles, figures unchanged from 2013.

According to Ipsos’s Chief Insights Officer Dr. Stephen Kraus, digital media use continues to grow, and traditional media use has changed much less than many people expected. “Consumption of new media is supplementing, not supplanting, traditional media use – and the result is a net increase in Affluents’ overall engagement with media,” he advised.

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