Study: Affluent Americans Spend More Time Online, Buy More Smartphones

Posted by Tristan Barnum on Sep 07, 2011
Did you ever think that the number of hours you spend watching TV could be directly correlated with your income level? What about your Internet browsing habits or which type of cell phone you have? According to a recent study Affluent Consumers in a Digital World, the economic gap between wealthy and economically less fortunate Americans affects more than just how much money is in their pocket, it changes the way they consume media.

Affluent Americans Study
Picture Caption: Digital Media Consumption

The study shows that people with a higher income spend more time on the Internet and are more likely to own high-tech devices such as smartphones. Out of this group, nearly 32% (compared to 23% of the lower income population) say they prefer a more customized online experience, even if that means sharing personal information to get it. Although they're willing to share personal information for a customized experience in return, 29% of this affluent group also reported feeling uncomfortable at times because online advertisements were too targeted.

So who are these affluent online, high-techies who have a love-hate relationship with online personalization you ask? They are a small minority -- approximately one-fifth of U.S. households, or 24 million people. Although this group is tiny compared to the total U.S. population (a little more than 307 million), they hold approximately 60% of U.S. household wealth and 70% of U.S. consumer wealth -- an annualized income of at least $100,000.

The wealthy who spend more time online also spend more money on online purchases of consumer goods or services than those who rake in less dough. Traditionally, the hardest to reach consumers through traditional media such as  TV and radio advertisements, higher income households are the biggest consumers of digital media and exceed non-affluent Internet use by nearly 20%. These facts are precisely why online advertisers are developing new ways to build relationships and customize content in hopes to extend affluent consumers' spending power to their brands.

Tell us, if you had $1,000,000 which one of these real-life extravagant high-tech devices would you buy to stay on top of industry trends?

Do you have a better idea? Post your luxury device wishlist here or on the Voxox Facebook page!

Tags: Industry Trends