I've dismissed just about every report I've ever seen on media consumption that tries to put an average number of hours to media consumption. As I'm fond of saying in my columns, in order for the average American to watch as much television as media research companies say they do, one would have to come home after work/school every day Monday through Friday and watch two hours of television. Then they would have to spend both days of the weekend watching 8 hours per day. Obviously, there's some inflation going on here. Talk all you want about averages. I refuse to believe that the average American watches that much television. Similarly, check out this article in AdAge. Amazingly, one media research company has actually stated that media consumption declined from 2005 to 2006. It's the whole thing about what it declined to that's amusing. The average yearly figure for Americans for 2006? 3,530 hours.
To put things in perspective, there are only 8,760 hours in a year. Am I to take it that people actually believe the average American spends over 40 percent of their year consuming media?
More perspective... If you got a healthy 8 hours of sleep per night, which most people don't, you would sleep for 2,920 hours a year. The average is under 7 hours. Let's call it 7 to make the math easy. That's 2,555 hours a year. Am I to take it that the average American spends 38 percent more time consuming media than sleeping? I doubt it.
Assuming no multitasking (which is a huge jump, I know...) and 7 hours of sleep per day, that would leave 2,675 hours left over for things like working and, you know, LIVING. With a 40-hour work week, you've got only 595 hours left during the course of the year for doing stuff that isn't working, sleeping or consuming media.
I can't believe people actually think these numbers represent anything in the realm of reality. On a side note, I can't wait for the first media research person who pops in here and attempts to justify numbers like this. Excuse me, sir, but your agenda is showing...