Lifestyles of the Business Elite

Highlighted by a Voracious Appetite for and Consumption of All Forms of Media

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

New York, NY – Media consumption is growing amongst the business leaders of America according to the latest Business Elite survey released today by Ipsos MediaCT. The uncertain economic conditions of recent years have made access to business news more important than ever for the most powerful business people.

There has been much discussion in recent times about the decline in traditional print media. However, this is certainly not the case amongst the Business Elite. Their consumption of print has risen; around 87 per cent of them read a print title, compared with 86 per cent last year.

At the same time weekly television figures have risen from 92 per cent last year to 94 per cent, highlighting the massive importance of TV news to senior executives. This compares to 76 per cent who utilise online news sources, although this figure is also on the rise.

In fact digital media consumption is growing across the board amongst senior business leaders. Despite the average age of the Business Elite being 52, 56 per cent accessed content through mobile phones or Blackberries in the last year while 37 per cent read a blog and over a third have used social networking websites.

It is clear that this group is embracing technology, with 72 per cent accessing High Definition TV channels. Although the research shows that this could be due to the high level of TV sport that is consumed by this audience.

James Torr, associate director at Ipsos MediaCT said: “The Business Elite in America is clearly embracing technology for both work and in their private lives. The Blackberry, and other portable media devices, have become the ubiquitous tool for the senior executive. However, print and television media are still primary sources of news for this group.”

“The ongoing increase in media consumption paints a picture of America’s Business Elite as a group that has an ever-growing need for up to the minute information at their fingertips.”

Spending money on business and pleasure

The Business Elite are travelling on business and spending money on behalf of themselves and their companies. The survey has revealed that the most senior people in US organisations took over 5.5 million business flights in the past year. This compares to 4.2 million taken by Europeans and just 1.5 million taken by Asians.

This number is roughly the same as last year, although there has been movement around the plane, with a 9 per cent increase in the number of coach seats chosen on short haul journeys and 11 per cent increase on long haul. However, 47 per cent of people who have flown in the last year travelled in first or business class.

Interestingly, there appears to be no such cutting back when it comes to personal spending. The number of them owning a watch worth at least $3,000 has increased by 16 per cent, while the number owning a vacation home is up 11%.

In the wake of the recession the Business Elite are playing a much greater role in purchasing decisions for services such as management consultancy (up 22 per cent); marketing, PR and advertising services (up 19 per cent) and brokerage services (up 20 per cent).

America’s Business Elite

BE:USA 2009/10 surveys the senior business market in the United States. It includes heads of functions in commercial and industrial establishments and the head offices of banks and insurance companies.

On average this group earns $517,000 per year, compared to $234,000 earned by their European equivalents and $127,000 by those in Asia.

This group has a total budget sign off of $9.6 trillion, which is equivalent to the combined Gross Domestic Product of France, Germany and Italy.

For more information on this news release, please contact:
James Torr
Associate Director
Ipsos MediaCT
Ipsos Mori
+44 20 8861 8173

About Ipsos MediaCT

Ipsos MediaCT is the specialization within Ipsos dedicated to serving clients in the converging Media, Content, Telecoms & Technology Industries. Areas of expertise include audience measurement, consumer insight, customer acquisition and retention, market sizing and new product development. Our global team combines rigorous research skills with a clear business focus to assist companies in maximizing their return on investment.

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About Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world.

Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2008, Ipsos generated global revenues of €979.3 million.

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Lifestyles of the Business Elite

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James Torr
Director, MediaCT
Ipsos MORI