How Much Information do people receive?
What kinds and how much information do Americans consume? My group did a thorough study on this topic for 2008. The basic answer is we consume far more than anyone realized, and even though there are still only 24 hours in a day, the amount continues to grow exponentially. To put it crudely, in 2008 an average American on an average day consumed the equivalent of a 1080p Blu-Ray movie per day. This was several times the size of the largest movies available to consumers at that time, and more than the size of 1080p cable TV movies even in 2016.
We did a long report on American consumers (households) exclusively. You can read the Executive Summary and a full report on American households, here. How Much Information? 2009 Report on American Consumers by Roger E. Bohn and James E. Short.
We measure information consumed in three ways: hours, words, and compressed bytes. For example, we average about .7 hours (45 minutes) on the telephone per day:
A 3-D plot shows how different measures (words, hours, or bytes) give very different rankings for different media. TV is big by all three measures, for example, but computer games are huge in bytes, but modest in other categories.
An updated report, by my colleague James Short, is available here. It projects household consumption up to 2015.
We measured server information in 2011, in this report.