Study says Internet more popular than newspapers

Posted by Mark Raby

New York (NY) - Though newspaper advertising is still the biggest market in the ad world, a new study shows the traditional medium is taking a beating in cyberspace.

Although it might seem like the traditional newspaper medium collapsed years ago, up until last year it was more popular than the Internet for the country as a whole.  In 2006, the two media were about equal.

Now, for the first time, Americans are spending more time online than they are with newspapers, according to a report from private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson.

In 2006, TV and radio counted for 70% of American media consumption, followed by music at 5.4%, newspapers at 5%, and the Internet at 5%, reports Reuters.  However, the new report suggests the Internet will climb to 5.1% while newspapers fall to 4.9% by the end of the year.

The numbers are most important to advertisers, some of whom have had tremendous struggles with new media formats.  The newspaper market still claimed the most advertising dollars last year with total ad spending of around $55.7 billion, according to the equity firm.  Broadcast TV advertising was second at $48.7 billion.  However, VSS projects Internet advertising will overtake both mediums by 2011, when it will take in an estimated $63 billion.

Another unusual trend tracked by VSS showed the total amount of time spent with media fell down last year, for the first time in 10 years.  The study said the average American spent around 3,530 hours with media last year, a 0.5% drop from 2005.  VSS attributes this to the fact that, instead of watching 30 minute TV shows viewers are watching 90-second YouTube clips.