Americans' Favorite Medium Is Television, According to Study

See where the Internet, movies and other media ranked in Deloitte's annual "State of the Media Democracy" report -- and whether commercials still matter.

Seventy-one percent of Americans say television is one of their favorite forms of media, even as they consume it more and more on devices other than traditional TV sets, according to Deloitte's fifth annual "State of the Media Democracy" report due out Tuesday.

The survey asked consumers to rank their top 3 types of media, and TV scored highest, followed by the Internet (46 percent), music (35 percent), books (32 percent) and movies (25 percent).

Other positive news for the TV industry contained in the survey is that commercials remain effective. In fact, among all media, TV ads scored highest with viewers, who said that, as far as ads go, the ones they watch on TV work best.

Eighty-six percent said TV ads influenced them most, followed by online (50 percent), magazines (46 percent), newspapers (40 percent) and radio (27 percent). Billboards, in-theater commercials, ads in video games and other categories were further down the list.

American consumers "have actually changed their behavior and are coming back to television in a big way," said Jim McDonnell, a Deloitte principal. "They're enjoying TV more than they were three years ago, and they're watching it more."

High-definition is one reason, but social networks are having a positive effect as well, McDonnell said, because people don't want to be out of the loop when TV shows are discussed among their peers. The study indicates that 22 percent of Americans often watch TV while on Facebook or another social network.

Smart phones also are becoming a favorite device for viewing content, with 17 percent of those surveyed calling it their favorite media device. That makes it fourth on the list of devices, but it's a big increase over previous surveys.

Nine percent of Americans watch video daily or semi-daily on their phones, 7 percent read newspapers on them, 5 percent have watched at least one TV show and 3 percent read magazines, according to Deloitte.

Other nuggets from the report: 59 percent of Americans own a flat-panel TV, up from 17 percent in 2007; and 43 percent own a DVR, up from 26 percent in 2007.