Survey: Rich Cut Back But Still Dig Media

Even America’s richest households trimming their spending plans, a new survey shows. Affluent consumers—defined as the top one-fifth of U.S. households who are responsible for $1.2 trillion in discretionary spending—plan to spend less than they did in 2008 in 16 major areas including investments, vacations, home remodeling and big-ticket purchases.
The findings are in an extended version of Ipsos Mendelsohn’s annual Affluent Survey, set to be released Dec. 7 by the 4A’s.
Among new topics in the survey was affluent consumers’ relative exposure to Web sites. It found that in terms of online media usage, social networking sites ranked among the most-visited categories of sites among the rich, along with specialized search, shopping, and news.
When it comes to television watching, Fox was the top-viewed network in terms of hours watched, followed by NBC and ESPN.

Affluent consumers also love their DVRs—this segment is twice as likely as the overall U.S. population to own a DVR, and as income and wealth grow, so does DVR usage.
In terms of print, People magazine continues to enjoy the greatest reach among all affluents, followed by National Geographic and Time. Among the highest echelon of luxury consumers (those with a household income of $250,000 and up and liquid assets of at least $1 million), People dropped to No. 3, behind The Wall Street Journal and Nat Geo.