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Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2006, 12:32 GMT
US TV and internet use climbing
A New York woman using a laptop
Experts said new technology was driving media usage
Americans will spend almost five months next year watching television, surfing the internet, reading newspapers and listening to music, new data shows.

Television is the most popular - the average American watching four and a half hours per day - followed by the radio and the internet.

Spending on media was also up, with each person expected to spend almost $1,000 (500) on products in 2007.

The data comes from the US Census Bureau's annual Statistical Abstract.

This document, first published in 1878, quantifies all aspects of American life. The media use data combines statistics from 2005 with information and projections from the media industry.

New technology

According to the report, next year Americans will spend nine and a half hours each day using different types of media, although time spent doing two things simultaneously was counted twice.

"There are more TVs than people and there's a TV, in many houses, in every room," said Patricia McDonough of Nielsen Media Research.

Watching television: 1,555 hours (1,467 in 2000)
Listening to the radio: 974 hours (942)
Using the internet: 195 hours (104)
Reading newspapers: 175 hours (201)
Reading magazines: 122 hours (135)
Reading books: 106 hours, (105)
Playing video games: 86 hours, (64)

"For teenagers, being on the internet and watching TV at the same time are not mutually exclusive."

More channels and targeted programming had helped to increased television viewing, she said.

The amount of time Americans spent listening to the radio had also risen since 2000, while internet use had almost doubled, the data showed.

Statistics for 2005 showed the growing impact of the internet - about 97 million internet users read news online, 92 million bought something and 91 million made a travel booking.

Blogs proved increasingly popular. About 13 million people created one and 39 million people read someone else's.

In contrast, less time was being spent reading magazines, newspapers or books.

In 2000, the average American spent 201 hours annually (about 35 mins per day) reading newspapers, a figure predicted to fall to 175 hours (29 mins per day) in 2007.

The changing picture was partly due to people using several electronic devices at once and new technology allowing devices - wireless internet, iPods and car entertainment systems - to be used almost everywhere, said Leo Kivijarv of PQ Media.

"We're not limited to just watching and using media in the home, as we were the past," he told the Associated Press news agency.

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