CivicScience continually tracks current and anticipated consumer trends. Here are three key insights marketers should know this week. All insights are derived from the CivicScience Social | Political | Economic | Cultural (SPEC) Report, a weekly report available to clients covering the latest news and insights. Start here to learn more.

1. The majority of Americans believe AI-generated content should be labeled as use of AI grows.

A new bipartisan bill could require AI-generated images, videos, and audio (including deepfake content) to be labeled with a digital watermark or metadata to avoid the sharing of false and deceiving content. In general, CivicScience data show 47% of Americans support federal regulation of AI tools such as ChatGPT, with 27% strongly supporting it (compared to 22% who oppose it). Consumers show even stronger support for the labeling of AI-generated images with a digital watermark or metadata – 64% believe AI-generated content should be labeled, compared to just 6% who disagree. 

Join the Conversation: How easy is it for you to spot AI-generated images compared to ‘real’ images?

2. Social media users are most likely to turn to TV, movies, and gaming when looking to escape social media.

Social media can have profound impacts on how Americans feel and as the 2024 election approaches, political conversations aren’t likely to help. So, what are Americans turning to in order to limit their time on social media? CivicScience polling finds the most common activity of social media users across all age groups is watching TV or movies, led in particular by Gen Xers. Fifty percent of social media users between ages 18 and 55 say they play games on their phone when trying to avoid spending too much time on social media platforms. Alternatives such as going for walks and reading books are also popular choices to disengage from social media.

3. Over a third of U.S. readers favor non-paperback books, while Spotify and Audible are leading platforms for audiobook consumption.

Speaking of books, over a third of readers (35%) opt for alternatives to traditional paper books, with 10% favoring audiobooks. Notably, preferences vary across genres, with audiobooks being more popular with readers of nonfiction, including those who enjoy biographies, health, and self-improvement books. 

Spotify and Audible reign as top choices for audiobook enthusiasts, each boasting a 47% user base of audiobook listeners. However, their age demographics diverge – Audible commands over 70% of Baby Boomer listeners, while Spotify prevails among Gen Z adults (N=797 from 4/1/2024 to 4/3/2024; excluding ‘I don’t listen to audiobooks’).

While more than 1-in-10 Millennials say they acquired their most recent book through a subscription service like Audible or Spotify, most readers purchased their last book from an online retailer (31%) or a bookstore/in-person retailer (26%). Gen Z adults are twice as likely as Baby Boomers to have borrowed their most recent read from the local library.

Take Our Poll: ​​How often do you listen to audiobooks?

Clients receive the SPEC Report in full, plus access to real-time insights driven by our database of over 500K questions. Contact us now to see it in action