Joan Ganz Cooney Center – Less Than Half of Kids’ Screen Time is Educational: Stats and Studies, 1/27/2014

study from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center finds that children ages 2 to 10 spend less than half of their electronic screen-time interacting with educational material. The study also finds that time spent on educational activities decreases as the amount of time a child spends on an electronic screen increases, which also correlates with an increase in a child’s age. Two- to 4-year-olds spent a little over two hours a day using a screen, averaging an hour and 16 minutes on educational activities, while 8- to 10-year-olds spent more than two and a half hours each day using a screen, with only 42 minutes considered educational.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler declared the Commission’s commitment to strengthening E-Rate to provide schools and libraries with better Internet connections.

NPD Group is backing away from a recent study in which it claimed subscription video services like Netflix may be leading to a decline in premium cable subscriptions. This action came after Showtime, HBO and Starz produced data from SNL Kagan demonstrating a rise in subscribersNPD Group maintains that its study does indicate that the overall number of premium TV subscribers did fall, but that individual customers are becoming more faithful to their cable service by subscribing to more channels or adding channels over time.

Another NPD Group publication, the Connected Home Reportfinds smartphone penetration growing in the United States from 52 percent in Q4 2012 to six-in-ten mobile phone users in Q4 2013. Apple and Samsung continue to dominate the smartphone market, increasing from 35 and 22 percent of users to 42 and 26 percent of users, respectively.

The 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that trust in the media has fallen in nearly 80 percent of countries surveyed since the last Trust Barometer study in 2013. Media trust in the United States fell from 51 to 42 percent, below the global average of 52 percent. Globally, online search engines and traditional media are considered more trustworthy than hybrid media, social media and owned media.

new survey from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners shows that wireless customers have warmed to early upgrades and financing plans for unsubsidized phones. From July to December 2013, about 31 percent of eligible customers from the four major carriers chose a financing plan to purchase their phone.

Nearly 3000 television stations were sold in 2013, a 205 percent increase from 2012according to BIA/Kelsey.

Seven new specialty web domains are set for release this week, including .bike, .guru and .clothing.


FCC Chairman Wheeler: Focus on “New Network Realities” – Stats and Studies, 1/21/2014

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler suggested that an open Internet, not broadcasting distribution, is more important to media opportunities and diversity. At the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council Media and Social Justice Conference, Wheeler discussed potential ways to revamp the FCC’s Open Internet order, struck down last week by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, before diving into diversity issues. While he said that it was “outrageous” that there is “no minority ownership of television stations in America,” he also said that the focus should be on “new network realities” and the potential for Internet distribution mediums to become highly controlled.

The U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia has stayed portions of the Federal Communications Commission’s order that sets maximum rates for phone calls by prisoners. Securus Technologies challenged the rates of 25 cents per minute for debit calling and 21 cents per minute for collect calls, claiming the lower rates would cut off money used by prisons for victims’ assistance and could weaken security.

An upcoming TV ad buy will tout the dangers of smoking – and the messages will come from Big Tobacco itself. CBS, ABC and NBC are set to be part of the “remedial” advertising campaign by tobacco companies, part of Big Tobacco’s 2006 settlement regarding the omission of health warnings in prior cigarette ads. African Americans suffer disproportionately from smoking-related illnesses, particularly African American men.

This year’s update of San Diego State University’s Celluloid Ceiling study of women in television and film finds that, while women are making modest gains in behind-the-scenes TV jobs, the picture is bleaker for those working in movies. From 2012 to 2013, women made up 28 percent of creators, producers, directors, writers, editors and directors of photography on broadcast programs, an increase of two percentage points from the previous year and tied for the historical high. But women only made up 16 percent of those same positions for the top 250 grossing films in 2013. Further, 36 percent of films employed zero or one woman in the jobs surveyed, while only two percent employed 10 to 13 women in those capacities.

A National Bureau of Economic Research study finds that the MTV reality series 16 and Pregnant and its Teen Mom spinoffs led to a 5.7 percent reduction in teen births in the 18 months following the introduction of the programs. The shows were also linked to an increase in searches for pregnancy alternatives.

Point Topic data for Q4 2013 shows that the U.S. ranks 58th out of 90 countries in household broadband affordability, its $89 monthly average over twice as high as the average prices in Russia, Finland, and Belarus. North American countries also tend to pay more for lesser service, with higher costs than Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region for broadband upwards of 60 Mbps slower.

Tablet ownership and e-reading are on the rise – but so is print readership, according to the Pew Research Center. Half of American adults own either a tablet or an e-reader, up from 43 percent in September 2013, and the number of adults who have read an e-book in the past 12 months stands at 28 percent, up from 23 percent in 2012. However, the number of adults who have read a print book is up from 65 percent in 2012 to 69 percent in 2014, a rebound from a six percentage-point dive between 2011 and 2012.

Despite somewhat lower uptake among younger adults, nearly nine in ten adult broadband users subscribe to cable, satellite or telco-TV, according to new data from The Diffusion Group. Nearly 85 percent of adults between 18 and 24 and 81.9 percent of adults between 25 and 34 subscribe to a pay television service, compared with the average of 87.6%.

App use grew 115 percent in 2013 according to Flurry Analytics, led by a 203 percent increase in messaging and social applications.

The California Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to include wireless phones as a LifeLine program option.

The rise of e-readers has led to an explosion of Spanish-language book availability.

Media and Technology Stats and Studies – January 6, 2014

A new report on social media use from the Pew Research Center finds that over three-quarters of African American adults who use the Internet are on Facebook. African Americans are also significantly more likely than their white and Hispanic counterparts to use Twitter and Instagram. In total, some 73 percent of all online adults use some social networking site and 42 percent of online adults use multiple social sites.

Roberts Broadcasting Company sold its three television stations to ION Media, dropping the number of Black owned-and-operated full-power TV stations to zero, according to Free Press. This does not include the stations recently purchased by conservative African American media commentator Armstrong Williams, which Free Press states will continue to be legally owned and operated by the stations’ original owner, Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Business review website Yelp is creating its own political action committee. Former Darrell Issa (R-CA) staffer Laurent Crenshaw joined Yelp in November as its first in-house lobbyist, with a focus on patent and copyright reform, as well as anti-defamation lawsuit legislation.

A new survey from, a project of CTIA – The Wireless Association, shows that 92 percent of adult Asian American wireless phone users consider wireless to be “an essential service in [their] everyday life” while half said their mobile phone is more important than broadband, cable television and landline phone service. Texting, email and Internet access are the most popular wireless features; job search and civic engagement are the least popular. Despite losing ground compared to a 2012 survey on the same subject, laptop computers continue to be the most popular hardware for reading email and going online in general among Asian Americans.

Fox News Channel continues its reign as top cable news channel, according to Nielsen data reported by TV Newser. While the network is down five percent in total daytime viewers and 14 percent in total nighttime viewers from 2012, its 1.76 million strong day audience and 1.1 million viewer night audience topped major competitors MSNBC (394,000 day viewers and 640,000 primetime viewers) and CNN (413,000 daytime viewers and 568,000 primetime viewers).

In other cable news, more end-of-the-year Nielsen data shows viewers watched 17.2 hours of cable television per week in 2013, a new record. Meanwhile, the Big Four broadcast networks netted an average of 7.5 viewer hours per week, a record low.

Internet advertising revenue for Q3 2013 hit $10.69 billion, up 15 percent from a record-breaking Q3 2012, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC US.

Ads in iPad editions of magazines grew 16 percent in 2013, according to a report from the Association of Magazine Media and Kantar Media. However, the number of ad pages in these publications’ print editions remained flat from 2012.

Pew: Public Libraries Still Important to Americans – MTI Stats and Studies, 12/16/2013

Americans still value public libraries in their communities according to a new report from the Pew Research Center. Ninety percent of those surveyed said that the closure of their local library would have an impact on their community. While not considered the most important among library services, 58 percent of those surveyed found computer and Internet services at their local library to be “very” or “somewhat” important to their families, including 56 percent of Internet users without home access, who find the services “very important.”

Millennials do read newspapers, but not always traditional print, according to the Newspaper Association of America. Of young adults between the ages of 18 and 34, 56 percent read newspaper media content in print or online. Seventy-one percent of millennials who are online access digital newspaper content over an average month, while 60 percent of millennials consuming newspaper content in print or online consider their paper to be trustworthy.

Time-shifted video and video-on-demand continues to grow in popularity. Consumer research from the Leichtman Research Group found that 47 percent of U.S. households have at least one DVR, up from 40 percent in 2010 and 23 percent in 2007. Sixty-one percent of cable subscribers have used video on demand, compared to 43 percent in 2008 and 10 percent in 2004. And Netflix subscribers watch an average of 19.6 TV shows each month, up from 12.7 in 2012 and 9.9 in 2011.

Hour of Code, an initiative encouraging children to take computer programming tutorials during Computer Science Education Week, is expected to reach 15 million kids with coding courses. As per this report from AllThingsD, 73 percent of Hour of Code students were from the United States and 51 percent were female.

The Center for Data Innovation’s The Internet of Things report identifies a variety of Internet-connected devices and the solutions they can provide to dilemmas in society. Notable examples include wireless bridge sensors to detect structural changes, smart pill bottles that send phone calls or text messages if a dose is missed and the Air Quality Egg, which senses the air in a small location, like a home, and aggregates the data for personal use.

ZenithOptimedia and GroupM predict that the global ad market will become more competitive as Internet-based ads go head-to-head with television ads. While TV will still deliver growth in ad spending – from 40.2 percent in 2013 to a projected 39.9 percent in 2016 – the rise in digital media and online video will boost Internet ad share from 20.6 percent in 2013 to 26.6 percent in 2016. Mobile advertising, in particular, is projected to grow by an average of 50 percent a year between 2013 and 2016.

Apple and Samsung are dominating United States smartphone sales according to Canaccord Genuity. The iPhone 5S, Samsung Galaxy S4 and iPhone 5C have been the top three best-selling smartphones at all four major wireless carriers since September 2013.

Media and Technology Institute Stats and Studies – November 11, 2013

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies’ Media and Technology Institute released a report entitled Broadband and Jobs: African Americans Rely on Mobile Access and Social Networking in Job Search, showing African Americans rely disproportionately on the Internet, as opposed to personal relationships, to find jobs. Among the report’s findings, 50% of African American Internet users said the Internet was very important to them in successfully finding a job, significantly higher than the 36% average for the entire sample. Further, 46% of African American Internet users used the Internet at some point when they were looking for a job, compared to 41% for all respondents. Thirty-six percent of African Americans said they applied for a job online the last time they were in the job market, compared with 26% for all respondents. Social networking sites were very important to African Americans as well, with 31% saying they are very important to job search, which is seven percentage points greater than the entire sample (24%).

The Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity released a report entitled Fast Food FACTS 2013 which focuses on fast food advertising targeting children and teens. Among the report’s findings, “children ages 6 to 11 saw 10% fewer TV ads for fast food, but children and teens continued to see three to five fast food ads on TV every day.” Further, only one quarter of fast food ads were for healthier kids’ meals. Nevertheless, only 1% of kids’ meals served at the top fast foods restaurants meet experts’ nutritional standardsSpanish language fast food advertising increased by 16%, and “fast food marketing via social media and mobile devices – media that are popular with teens – grew exponentially. released its third quarter tech employment snapshot showing 3.9% unemployment in the technology sector compared to 7.3% unemployment overall. The unemployment rate in September was 12.9% for blacks and 9% for Hispanics. According to the National Science Foundation (NSF), Asian women have the highest unemployment rate (7.4%) among all racial and ethnic groups within the technology sector. The NSF has also found that underrepresented minorities including African Americans, Latinos and American Indians are unemployed within the technology sector at a rate of 6.7% for men and 6.6% for women.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland released a study of federal longitudinal data since 1997 showing a high correlation between the level of math students completed in high school and their high school graduation, college attendance and unemployment rates. High level math (Algebra II or above) completion correlated more strongly with high school graduation rates than parental educational backgrounds, according to the report. Students who completed math above Algebra II attended college at a rate more than 20 points higher (over 90%) than those completing only Algebra II. High school graduates with Geometry or Algebra II were also more than 10 percentage points less likely to be unemployed than those with Pre-Algebra or Algebra I.

The U.S. is losing its advantage in spying and cybersecurity, according to a new report by the National Commission for the Review of the Research and Development Programs of the United States Intelligence Community, a congressional panel tasked with evaluating the nation’s cyber-defense capabilities.

The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) released a report recommending a shift, in researching the digital divide, away from access and more toward “the willingness and ability of citizens to use [broadband] for productive purposes”. Among other key findings, 64% of survey respondents cited affordability as the most significant obstacle to adoption, and 56% cited a lack of ability/skills to use ICTs.

A new Gallup poll shows Internet use “among seniors and Americans of lower socioeconomic status has surged since 2002, but still lags behind that of the rest of the public.”  In 2002, 33% of adults aged 65+ used the Internet, compared to 65% today. Further, in 2002, just 42% of U.S. adults earning less than $20,000 per year in annual household income used the Internet, compared to 73% today. In 2002, 69% of all U.S. adults used the Internet, compared to 87% in 2013.

Nielsen and CBS began a trial to “measure cross-media campaigns on local TV and radio.” The trial is part of an effort to provide more useful analytics to advertisers seeking to develop more effective and measurable cross-media advertising strategies that “address day-to-day and week-to-week reach” and deliver messaging to consumers close to their purchases and actions.

T-Mobile released its Q3 earnings report in which it stated that it has doubled the amount of spectrum used by its LTE networks in 40 of the top 50 U.S. metro markets. The company also plans to upgrade to 40 MHz networks in 22 of the top 25 markets by 2014.

A Brigham Young University study of 276 young adults’ relationship communication habits found excessive amounts of texting for serious conversations to be potentially harmful to relationships. Among the report’s findings, women using text messages “to apologize, work out differences or make decisions is associated with lower relationships quality,” and for men “too frequent texting is associated with lower relationship quality.” However, for both men and women, “expressing affection via text enhances the relationship.”

Eight percent of U.S. adults get their news via Twitter, compared to 30% who get their news from Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center. Twitter’s users are also “younger, more mobile and more educated” according to the report. The report surveyed 5,000 U.S. adults comprised primarily of Facebook users, who made up 3,268 of the survey respondents.

Time Warner Cable released a report last month advocating for the need for the FCC to free up unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi.

Apple released its government request report showing law enforcement officials requested info on 2,000 to 3,000 accounts between January and June of this year.

Media and Technology Institute Stats and Studies – November 4, 2013

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released revised guidance for parents, pediatricians and teachers on managing children’s and adolescents’ media use. AAP advises parents to “model effective ‘media diets’ to help their children learn to be selective and healthy in what they consume,” to implement media “curfews” during dinner and after bedtime and to limit screen time to less than one or two hours per day for both small children and adolescents and discouraging screen media exposure for children under 2. The guidelines also include recommendations for pediatricians to ask questions regarding media consumption during well-child visits, work more closely with schools to teach media literacy and develop an “ongoing mechanism to fund research about media’s effects.”

Common Sense Media also released the second in a series of national surveys on children’s media use. Among the report’s findings, “children’s access to mobile devices is dramatically higher than it was two years ago.” Sixty-three percent of children between the ages of 0 and 8 now have a smartphone in the home compared to 41% in 2011. Forty percent have a tablet, compared to just 8% in 2011. However, a large gap continues to persist between rich and poor children in access to mobile media devices and applications, with 20% of lower-income children now having access to a tablet at home compared to 63% of higher-income children. Just 46% of lower-income families surveyed have access to high speed internet at home, compared to 86% of higher-income families. Children’s time spent using “traditional” media (i.e. TV, video games and computers) declined by more than a half hour per day. Further, while TV continues to dominate as the medium of choice for children, with 58% watching it at least once a day, more than a third of their TV time is spent watching time-shifted (DVR, streamed or downloaded) content.

Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen reported that the company’s Internet Essentials program for low-income homes has connected more than 1 million Americans and 250,000 families. Cohen noted, “to put that in perspective, that’s more than the entire population of a city like San Francisco or a state like Delaware or Montana.” On Wednesday, Comcast released its 3Q13 earnings report showing a 2.4% decrease in revenue but 30% increase in free cash flow to $2.0 billion. The company attributes the decline in revenue to an unfavorable comparison to the company’s earnings last year, when it earned $1.2 billion from advertising associated with the London Olympic Games.

The Federal Communications Commission released a third set of Equal Employment Opportunity random audit letters to broadcasters and multi-channel video programming distributors (MVPDs). Each year, approximately 5% of broadcast stations and MVPDs are selected for the audits.

A growing number of Americans are posting photos and videos to websites, according to the Pew Research Center.  “Fifty-four percent of adult Internet users post original photos or videos online that they themselves have created…their number has grown from 46% [since] last year.” Further, 47% of Internet users are “curators” (i.e. those who post photos and videos created by others online). The most popular app for taking and sharing photos and videos is Facebook’s Instagram, with 18% of cell phone owners using Instagram. Nine percent use Snapchat, a newer service which deletes photos and videos automatically after they have been viewed.

Samsung garnered the largest share of smartphone shipments to date in a third quarter, accounting for 35% (88 million) in 3Q13.  By comparison, Apple’s share was 13.4% (33.8 million), down from 15.6% last year.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) reported in its 2013 Holiday Sales Forecast that, of the 29% of tablet owners with 3G or 4G service, just 49% actually pay for a separate data plan. 

The New America Foundation (NAF) released a report concluding that Americans in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC are paying higher prices for slower Internet service compared to 19 other cities in Europe, North America and Asia. The next day, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) released a statement accusing NAF of “cherry picking” data and “comparing apples to oranges” by comparing “boutique ISPs with under 1,000 customers in urban areas to those charged by companies that serve millions of people in suburban and rural areas.”

Starting next fall, Nielsen will count TV programs viewed on mobile phones and tablets within its traditional TV ratings, the company announced. Nielsen will use codes embedded by TV networks to collect the data.

USA TODAY is the newspaper with the largest five-weekday average circulation, according to the Alliance for Audited Media’s (AAM) latest circulation report. On average, USA TODAY circulates 2.88 million newspapers, up from 1.71 million a year ago. The jump is attributed to new AAM rules allowing newspapers to count the distribution of free content on mobile and tablet apps as part of their circulation. Rounding out the top 5 were the five-weekday average circulations of The Wall Street Journal (2.27 million), The New York Times (1.89 million), The Los Angeles Times (671,797), and the New York Daily News, which fell to 467,110 from 535,875 a year ago.

IHS released a report showing low interest among consumers for smart TVs, with 73% not planning to buy a new smart TV over the next year.

Media and Technology Stats and Studies – October 28, 2013

The FCC reported there are 30,367 total broadcast stations licensed in the U.S. Of these, 15,330 are for commercial and educational radio; 1,783 for commercial and educational TV; 432 for Class A TV; 10,099 for translators and boosters; 1,935 for Low Power TV and 768 for Low Power FM stations. The FCC’s Office of Communications Business Opportunities (OCBO) also announced its plans to study “the relationships among Hispanic television station ownership, Hispanic-oriented programming, and Hispanic television viewing.” In a report issued last year, the FCC reported that women and minorities owned a voting interest in only a tiny fraction of broadcast stations.

The majority of Americans who have visited health care exchange websites hold contradictory views about how well the websites work in general, as compared to their perception of how effective the websites are for their own purposes. A Pew Research Center survey revealed that, while most Americans (56%) are critical of health care exchange websites, most (56%) also say the exchanges were helpful to them for their own purposes. However, as of October 21st, most Americans visiting the health care exchange websites were already insured, as just 29% of those who visited the sites were uninsured. Most (58%) were just interested in finding out more about how the exchanges work. Pew released two other surveys last week: One showed how one in 10 Americans have used an online dating platform or app; the other showed most (78%) of Americans who consume news on Facebook do so when they are using Facebook for other reasons.

In its third quarter 2013 earnings results, AT&T reported adding more than 2 million high speed wireless and wireline broadband connections. The company also reported that 75% (50.6 million) of its contract customers now own smartphones, up from 66% this time last year. Its wireless data revenues were up 17.6% compared to the third quarter of 2012.