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Third Of Americans Spending More Time With Digital Audio Post-Pandemic, Survey Finds.


One in three Americans say they are listening to podcasts more frequently since the start of the pandemic nearly three years ago. And while life has largely returned to normal, it is a habit that appears to have stuck based on a new survey examining internet habits. Just eight percent say they are listening to podcasts and streaming music less than they did before.


HighSpeedInternet.com ran a survey of 1,000 Americans aged 18 and older in September 2022, using the online survey platform PollFish. The results show people spend about eight hours per day online. That does not include passive activities such as streaming music or video in the background while doing other tasks.


The survey finds that the average American spends about five hours per day listening to podcasts, or streaming music or other audio content. That may seem like a lot of time, but the survey shows those who regularly stream music or audio only give it their full attention 38% of the time. That is not unexpected since AM/FM radio has long been a companion to activities ranging from the drive to work to cleaning the house.


The survey found 45.7% of respondents report using the internet (on a phone, tablet or computer) more compared to last year. Only 10% reported that their internet usage had decreased since last year, while 42.3% said their internet usage had remained about the same. That may not be a surprise. But what is probably more unexpected is that even though close to half of the sample (47%) has shopped online more frequently since COVID, in most cases people still prefer doing that in person.


While the survey results show three in four people always or frequently research their purchases online, where they prefer to buy is another story. When it comes to tech products or ordering food to go, the internet has the edge, with 47% and 41% respectively preferring online to in person, or by phone for the latter. For grocery, home goods or clothing shopping, though, it's no contest: in-person is preferred by 67%, 50% or 48% of respondents. For the former, that's in spite of the finding that 31% reported having used a delivery service such as Instacart since the pandemic.


Also notable: while many prefer ordering meals online, 42% would rather use a physical restaurant menu than one at an eatery's website. And while banking online is fine with 61% of people, only 11% prefer virtual doctor appointments, even though 30% report having received virtual health care more frequently since COVID. The online business with no reported change since the pandemic is ride-share apps such as Uber, with 64% using at the same rate now as then.

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