The Nielsen Company, the marketing and advertising research company that also provides TV show ratings, put out a report last month called The New Digital American Family: Understanding family dynamics, media and purchasing behavior trends (.pdf). Although the report is written for advertisers and marketers, it can still provide an interesting snapshot of American culture and it’s worth posting on 404 Tech Support because the changing role of technology is discussed. The report includes various influences like ethnicity, income levels, marriage, and technology.
Here are some of the highlights the report announcement points out:
- High income families view less TV but spend more time viewing with kids, using time-shifted media four times more often than low income households.
- Mobile serves as a key source of connectivity within the Hispanic community. They are more likely than the average household to have cell phones with Internet (55%) and video (40%) capabilities and text more than any other race or ethnicity, sending 943 texts per month.
- African-American media habits are TV- and mobile-centric. They own four or more sets per household and spend almost 40 percent more time watching TV, especially premium cable channels, than the U.S. average. African Americans also run up more mobile voice minutes per month—1,261—than any other group.
- Asian-Americans exhibit a huge appetite for online media, logging 80 hours on the Internet and viewing 3,600 web pages, 3.5 times more than any other ethnic group.
- Marriage is so 20th century! In 1960, 72 percent of the adult population was married. By 2008, that number plummeted to 52 percent. The college educated have the highest marriage rates; those with a high school education or less, the lowest rates.
Here are some others that I found interesting:
- “High income families represent the heaviest Internet users, logging on to conduct research, check the news, accesstravel info and visit social networks.”
- “Low income households download more ringtones while upscale families rely on smartphones for mobile commerce and to download apps.”
- “High income households are huge devotees of time-shifting, which allows them to watch more with their children. High income households use digital video recorders (DVRs) four times moreoften, purchase more video games and more DVDs than the average household. They also buy fewer cell phones than the average, most likely because low income audiences are more likely to bypass a landline in exchange for a cell phone.”
- “High income families spend less time on Facebook and YouTube but more time on the Apple website than the average family, presumably downloading music or servicing their Macs. Educational options head the list of the Top 10 indexing websites by income, with high income families accessing Pearson Prentice Hall, Edline.net, Teacherweb.com, ClassZone.com,Houghton Mifflin and Pbteen.”
- “Hispanics tend to visit Latin-influenced sites like Univisionand MSN Latino while African-Americans gravitate to music sites and Asians prefer technology sites.”
- “Asian-Americans exhibit a huge appetite for online media, logging 80 hours in PCtime and viewing 3,600 web pages, 1,000 pages more than any other ethnic group. Asian-Americans watch YouTube more than any other demographic segmentwhile white Americans spend time withFacebook more than multi-cultural users. Although Asian-Americans watch less TV than other ethnic segments, they stream double the amount of online video as the overall average.”
You can read the report by downloading the 8 page PDF from the Nielsen website.