Audience Engagement Platforms
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TikTok, podcasts, paid subscriptions continue to grow: Q3 U.S. media consumption

It was a summer of growth for all forms of U.S. media, with TikTok, podcasts, paid subscriptions and even printed newspapers seeing a surprise boost. Of note: 40% of Americans have at least one paid-for content subscription (either print or digital).

Attest, the consumer research platform, has released the latest findings from its Quarterly U.S. Media Consumption Tracker. The research provides continuous insights into how Americans’ habits across television, audio, news, and social media continue to evolve.

Here’s what you need to know:

* Interest in news media rises, even print 

All forms of news media enjoyed a positive quarter with subscriptions to news media growing by a +3.1% percentage point increase. 40.0% of Americans now have at least one paid-for content subscription (either print or digital).

News websites and apps saw a +5 percentage point increase in users (to 82.0%) and a +6 percentage point uplift in Americans accessing them weekly (to 60%).

Digital magazines chalked up a +7 percentage point increase in readers to 64%, with 33% of people accessing them weekly. Readership of printed magazines also grew by +5 percentage points to 69%.

Copyright: Attest

* Social media usage trends upward across the board

All of the 9 social media platforms showed growth. Americans are now most likely to spend 1-2 hours (24%) a day on social media. A further 18% spend 3-4 hours. 

TikTok saw the biggest growth of all platforms in Q3, increasing US users by 8 percentage points to 68%. Instagram also showed strong growth, rising by +7.5 percentage points to 72%.

Copyright: Attest

* Podcasts experience the biggest upswing in Q3

The most notable growth in audio comes from podcasts; the number of people who listen to podcasts in the US grew by +6 percentage points to 65%, while the percentage who listen at least once a week increased by +6 percentage points to 40%.

News and politics are the most popular genre of podcasts (24%), followed by comedy (24%), and true crime (23%). 

Copyright: Attest

* YouTube TV comes out on top in Q.3

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%. This could 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. Staying on the topic of YouTube, YouTube Music and Spotify are now neck and neck as America’s favorite music streaming services with 42% of Americans listening to streamed music daily.


Please note: The total sample size for this research was 1,000 nationally representative working-age consumers based in the United States. The surveys concluded on 29 July 2022 and 3 October 2022.