October 31, 2013 in Business

Briefcase: Americans consuming more media, study finds

From Wire Reports
 

Americans are spending more time on their digital devices, and that won’t change for years, according to a new study.

The University of Southern California report released this week shows that Americans consume “an enormous amount” of media via television, radio, phone and computer, amounting to an average of 63 gigabytes per person per day last year. All told, total U.S. media consumption reached 1.46 trillion hours in 2012, an average of 13.6 hours per person per day, a year-over-year increase of 5 percent.

In comparison, U.S. media consumption averaged 33 gigabytes per person per day in 2008. That year, Americans viewed and listened to media for 1.3 trillion hours, an average of 11 hours per person per day.

Those numbers are expected to increase in the coming years.

By 2015, data show that Americans will consume media for more than 1.7 trillion hours, an average of 15.5 hours per person per day. Mobile messaging hours, which last year accounted for about 9 percent of voice call hours, will double to more than 18 percent of voice hours, a year-over-year growth rate of more than 27 percent.

The study also found that viewing video in the Internet, which averaged fewer than 3 hours a month in 2008 and nearly 6 hours a month last year, will increase to nearly 11 hours a month by 2015.

The study, “How Much Media? 2013 Report on American Consumers,” was produced by the Institute for Communication Technology Management at USC’s Marshall School of Business.

Consumer prices rise slightly in September

WASHINGTON – U.S. consumer prices increased only slightly in September as higher energy costs were offset by flat food prices. The figures are the latest evidence that slow economic growth is keeping inflation tame.

The Labor Department says the consumer price index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent in September, up from 0.1 percent in August.

In the past year, consumer prices have increased just 1.2 percent.

Starbucks profits increase 34 percent

NEW YORK – Starbucks said its profits rose 34 percent in the quarter, as the coffee chain used its loyalty program to get customers to visit more often and spend more on revamped sandwiches and other food.

The Seattle-based company said global sales rose 7 percent at cafes open at least a year, including an 8 percent rise in both the U.S. and Asia. In the region encompassing Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where the company has struggled, the figure rose 2 percent.

Starbucks Corp. has managed to keep growing through a mix of measures. It’s adding items such as Evolution juices, which can cost as much as $6 a bottle, and has rolled out new sandwiches and salads to get people to spend more when they stop in for a drink. Prices on several beverages were also hiked over the summer.

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