Attest’s US media consumption tracker

Want to stay up to date with what your audience is watching, reading, listening to, and scrolling through? Our monthly US media consumption tracker, with data from 1,000 consumers, gives you the latest insight and analysis to inform your media planning. 

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What’s in the tracker?

📺 Watching data: live and streamed TV 

📻 Listening data: radio, streamed music, podcasts and audiobooks

📕 Reading data: print and digital newspapers and magazines

📱 Scrolling data: top nine social media platforms

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Q3 2022 results

Americans’ media consumption increases in the third quarter

It’s been a summer of growth for all mediums, our media consumption tracker reveals.

The finer weather did little to get Americans away from their TVs and off their devices. In fact, it’s been a summer of growth according to the results of our Q3 US media consumption tracker. In the three months to October 3, all mediums appear to have enjoyed a boost, with a particularly strong performance for news media. See the highlights below and continue reading for a full overview of each category.

  • Podcasts record a +6.1 percentage point increase in users to 65.0%
  • Printed newspapers grow weekly readers by +6 percentage points to 32.1% 
  • TikTok sees a +9.5 percentage point surge in weekly users to 55.5%
  • YouTube TV increases regular users by +6 percentage points to 23.0%

Q3 Social media trends

TikTok continues its impressive growth in Q3. The platform increased US usership by +8.3 percentage points to 68.1%. And those visiting it weekly grew by +9.5 percentage points to 55.5% (including 34.6% who visit the platform daily). 

Instagram also performed well, expanding US users numbers by +7.5 percentage points to 71.9%, and increasing weekly users by 9.7 percentage points to 60.9%.

In fact, all of the 9 platforms we measured showed growth. Twitter bounced back, increasing users overall by +6.9 percentage points to 56.5% and upping weekly users by 8.8 percentage points to 42.5%. This allowed it to overtake Pinterest and reclaim 6th position, although Snapchat still sits ahead at number 5.

We also looked at newcomer BeReal for the first time. The platform has been designed to combat the superficiality of regular social media by requiring users to take photos at different times each day – regardless of what they’re doing at that moment. Only 15.2% of Americans are using the platform currently, with 11% using it frequently. 

In terms of how long Americans are spending on social media each day at the moment, people are most likely to say 1-2 hours (24.1%), but a further 18.3% spend 3-4 hours. 

Q3 social media trends

Q3 TV trends

YouTube TV made the biggest gains of all the TV streaming services in Q3. The platform increased weekly US users by +6 percentage points to 23.0%. This is likely to grow further following the launch of a new mix and match offering that means users don’t have to pay $64.99 a month for the YouTube TV Base Plan.

HBO Max saw a 4.8 percentage point uplift to 32.6%, assisted by the popularity of its Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon, which was the most-named show of the quarter. While Amazon Prime also grew 4.4 percentage points to 47.3%, joining Hulu in second place (47.2%). 

On the other hand, the growth that Disney+ enjoyed in Q2 has eased off and it fails to move this quarter. Netflix also remains more or less static but still holds the title of the nation’s most-popular streaming platform, watched by 70.1% of people weekly. 

Viewing time for subscription TV is modestly trending up, with Americans most likely to say they watch between 1-2 hours per day (30.9%). Viewing time is also on the up for free on-demand TV, although a lesser 22.5% of people watch it for 1-2 hours per day (and 34.4% don’t watch it at all). 

Live TV, meanwhile, sees a +4.4 percentage point increase in regular viewers: 77.7% of Americans say they watch at least some live TV each day. This is most likely to be between 1-2 hours. 

Q3 TV streaming trends

Q3 audio trends

Last quarter we reported how YouTube Music had overtaken Spotify to become America’s favorite music streaming service – but its moment of glory didn’t last long. Spotify rallied with a +4.7 percentage point growth in regular users, regaining the top spot with 43.0% market share. But YouTube Music also grew by +3 percentage points to 42.4% meaning there’s still only a hair’s breadth between them.

All of the music streaming platforms in our survey grew in Q3, with 41.9% of Americans listening to streamed music daily. This is greater than the number of people who listen to radio on a daily basis (37.5%), despite the medium also enjoying a small increase during the quarter.  

q3 music streaming trends

But the most notable growth in audio comes from podcasts; the number of people who listen to podcasts in the US grew by +6.1 percentage points to 65.0%, while the percentage who listen at least once a week increased by +6.4 percentage points to 40.0%. News/politics is the most popular genre of podcast (24.2%), followed by comedy (23.9%), and true crime (22.4%). 

Audiobooks also enjoyed a positive quarter, with the number of Americans who listen to them increasing by +3.2 percentage points to 58.1%. And the percentage who listen weekly growing by +6.9 percentage points to 26.3%. 

Q3 podcast trends

Q3 print and digital trends

Printed newspapers saw a surprise boost this quarter; growing readers by +6.6 percentage points to 61.6% – that’s the highest the figure has been all year. Reading frequency also increased, with 32.1% of people (+6 pp) picking up a printed newspaper at least once a week.  

Likewise, all other forms of news media enjoyed a positive quarter. Digital magazines chalked up a +6.5 percentage point increase in readers to 63.9%, with 33.0% of people accessing them weekly (+5.7pp). Readership of printed magazines also grew by +4.9 percentage points to 68.5%. This is alongside a 3.6 percentage point increase in people reading on a weekly basis (to 29.7%). Finally, news websites and apps saw a +4.5 percentage point increase in users (to 82.0%) and a +6 percentage point uplift in Americans accessing them weekly (to 59.7%). 

Subscriptions to news media also grew this quarter. Following a +3.1 percentage point increase, 40.0% of Americans have at least one paid-for content subscription (either print or digital).

q3 content subscription trends

Q2 2022 results

Snapchat and Pinterest overtake Twitter in Q2

The Q2 results of our media consumption tracker show Twitter is now only the 7th most popular social media platform in the US.

Snapchat and Pinterest are now more popular than Twitter following a quarter of growth for the two platforms, our Q2 US media consumption tracker results show.

The number of Americans who use Snapchat grew 3.5 percentage points to 50.3% in the three months to June 29, while those using the platform daily rose 2.9 percentage points to 23.5%.

Likewise, Pinterest saw its number of users go up by 3.1 percentage points to 58.4%, alongside a 2.8 percentage point increase in those using it daily (to 13.1%). 

Twitter, meanwhile, stayed more or less static, with a 2.1 percentage point increase in daily users canceled out by a 2.7 percentage point decline in weekly users. The ‘will he/won’t he’ drama around Elon Musk’s purchase of Twitter (and the platform’s threatened lawsuit) hasn’t succeeded in gaining it any more users; usership remains stable at 49.6% of Americans. 

By applying a score to each platform based on the number of users they have and how regularly they use them, we see Twitter is now only the 7th most popular platform out of the nine in our survey.

Change from 28 March 2022 to 29 June 2022

TikTok is clocking up the views

The platform that recorded the highest growth in Q2 of 2022 is TikTok. It recorded an impressive 6.5 percentage point jump in users to 59.8%, combined with a 6.5 percentage point increase in the number of Americans using the platform daily (to 30%).

Facebook and Instagram, on the other hand, joined Twitter among the three platforms trending down during the quarter. Facebook saw the biggest loss, with a 3.1 percentage point drop in the number of people who use the platform (to 83.8%) and a 2.3 percentage point net decline in daily/weekly users.   

YouTube remains the most popular social platform in America, with a 1.9 percentage point boost in daily users, while Facebook, Instagram and TikTok round out the top four. 

Spotify loses it’s crown

There was another interesting reshuffle during the second quarter, this time among music streaming platforms. YouTube Music chalked up a second quarter of growth, increasing regular users by 4.7 percentage points to 39.4%. Meanwhile, Spotify suffered a small decline, taking usership to 38.3% and making YouTube Music the new market leader. 

Nearly 41% of Americans now listen to streamed music daily, following a 1.7 percentage point increase, and all the platforms in our survey besides Spotify recorded growth. The biggest gain was seen by Apple Music, which increased regular users by 5.5 percentage points to 20.9%. 

In other audio news, podcasts and audiobooks are trending up. There’s been a 2.7 percentage point increase in the number of Americans listening to podcasts daily/a few times a week (to 26.1%), while podcasts enjoyed a 4 percentage point increase in regular listeners (to 14%).

Change from 28 March 2022 to 29 June 2022

Netflix usership slips

Last quarter we reported how Netflix was continuing to grow its regular users, despite a loss of 600,000 subscribers in the US and Canada. This quarter, however, we see the platform is starting to slip. It saw a 1.5 percentage point decrease in the number of Americans watching it at least once a week (to 69.4%) – this comes despite Netflix’s Stranger Things being the most-named show. 

In fact, Netflix was the only TV streaming service to record a decline out of the 10 included in our survey (although it remains the most-watched platform). The biggest winners were Disney+ (up 5.3 percentage points to 37.7%) and Paramount (up 3.1 percentage points to 21.4%). Following the increase, Disney+ is rivaling Amazon Prime for third place, which sits just a few points ahead at 42.9%. 

Overall, though, TV viewing went down during the second quarter. There was a 4.8 percentage point decrease in the number of Americans watching TV for 3-4 hours per day. And live TV took a hit, with a 2.2 percentage point increase in the number of people who say they never watch it. That figure now stands at 26.6% of the population.

Change from 28 March 2022 to 29 June 2022

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Q1 2022 results

Twitter performance stagnant as platform changes hands to Elon Musk

Q1 results show social media usage trending down with only TikTok recording growth in users.

As Twitter is sold to Elon Musk for $44bn, data from our US media consumption tracker shows the platform chalked up little growth in the US in the first three months of 2022.

While Twitter achieved a net 0.9 percentage point increase in weekly users at the end of March, it also recorded a 0.5 percentage point increase in the number of people who ‘never’ use the platform – this figure now stands at half of working-age Americans. 

It will certainly be interesting to see how Musk develops the offering for advertisers, having publicly questioned Twitter’s advertising business and stated that he wants to roll back the platform’s content moderation practices (making it a less safe space for brands).

Beyond Twitter, other uninspiring performances seen during the quarter include that of Facebook and Instagram. Both platforms saw their numbers of non-users in the US increase (by 2.3 and 2.5 percentage points respectively). But Snapchat had the highest loss of users, with a 3.3 percentage point increase in the number of people who never use it. 

TikTok was the only platform showing user growth, with a 1 percentage point reduction in non-users. It also achieved a 1.1 percentage point net increase in weekly users. But it was Youtube that clocked up the biggest increase in frequency; daily users grew by 4.9 percentage points to 52.1%.  

Change from 30 December 2021 to 28 March 2022

Are we really Not-flixing?

In their recent report to shareholders, Netflix announced that it had lost subscribers for the first time in a decade – including 600,000 in the US and Canada – resulting in a net loss of 200,000 subscribers globally. However, our data indicates that actual usage in the US is holding up (password sharing among households has been flagged as a problem). 

Netflix shows the biggest growth in regular users of all the streaming services, with a 2.8 percentage point increase in people watching it at least once a week (taking its audience to 71.2% of working-age Americans). Hulu and Peacock also show modest gains, while Amazon Prime, one of Netflix’s closest competitors, takes a big hit, with a 5.2 percentage point reduction in weekly viewers in the US (now at 41.3%).

Amazon is not alone in losing viewers; HBO Max falls by 3.1 percentage points and Disney+ sees a 2.2 percentage point reduction in weekly users.

Meanwhile, we see that the amount of people watching paid streaming services as a whole declines by 1 percentage point. Viewing time creeps up though, with a 2.2 percentage point increase in people watching for more than 4 hours a day (to 13%).

Change from 30 December 2021 to 28 March 2022

YouTube Music closing the gap on Spotify

YouTube Music is almost neck and neck with Spotify now thanks to a 1.7 percentage point increase in regular users during Q1. While 38.7% of working-age Americans regularly use Spotify, 34.8% are tuning into YouTube Music. 

All the other music streaming services in our survey lost users, with Amazon Music declining the most; dropping 4 percentage points. With just 18.4% of Americans using the platform regularly, it’s now a weak competitor for the two leaders.

On the whole, streaming music is modestly trending up; we see a 2.1 percentage point increase in people listening daily. Meanwhile, podcasts are also being listened to more frequently, with a net 2.2 increase in people listening on a weekly basis, and The Joe Rogan Experience still holding the crown as the most-named podcast. 

Change from 30 December 2021 to 28 March 2022

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