What are the Most Common Forms of Online Entertainment Among Americans? 

It should come as no surprise that most entertainment is now digital. Music, movies, books, and games are now all easily accessible via a digital platform such as a phone or tablet.

This has made entertainment much more accessible and somewhat replaced the need for physical alternatives. But it begs the question: what are America’s most popular types of online entertainment? Let’s find out!

Music and Podcasts 

While the demand for records and other physical music formats remains high, digital music platforms have become integrated into everyday life. Our phones have made it super easy to stream music and podcasts on the go.

This means that an almost limitless amount of digital audio can be accessed when driving, exercising, working – or pretty much while performing any other daily task.

Whether it be via Apple Music or Spotify, most Americans are streaming music and podcasts to keep them entertained throughout the day. Monthly fees for the likes of Spotify are relatively small compared to the price you’d have to pay for individual albums, which is part of the overall appeal of streaming.

Other popular forms of audio streaming include ebooks and web-based radio stations.

Online Gambling 

The online gambling market in the US is huge, despite state-level laws. Real money slots, blackjack, and poker are all popular pastimes across America, even in southern states where tight restrictions are in place.

Luckily, gamblers in states such as Texas have a wide range of offshore gambling sites to choose from. As Jonathan Askew highlights, these legal gambling sites come with significant sign-up bonuses and lots of game options wondering if real money gambling is possible in Texas.

Gambling has long been a key part of American culture and remains popular today. Most Americans make the trip to Las Vegas to try their luck at least once in their lifetime. However, this isn’t feasible for everyone.

Instead, online gambling provides convenience and accessibility, which is why it’s one of the most popular digital pastimes in the US. Along with offshore casinos, crypto casinos are also a great way for those living in states without locally licensed options to enjoy their favorite games, and they are becoming more and more popular all the time.

Digital Video Games 

While the demand for physical copies of video games still exists, an increasing number of gamers have switched to fully online options. This includes cloud-based and downloadable games such as Fortnite, ROBLOX, and League of Legends. According to data provided by Newzoo, 72% of game sales in 2022 were digital, meaning that physical only accounted for 28%.

The appeal of online games lies in their scalability and social focus. Online games can easily be adapted and upgraded to suit users’ needs. Plus, most digital games are multi-player, which allows users to socialize over the internet while they play.

Non-Console Games 

There has also been a significant increase in Americans playing non-console games in their spare time since the pandemic. By non-console, we mean games played on smartphones and tablets. The most popular mobile games in the US currently include MONOPOLY GO!, Coinmaster, and Royal Match.

This study conducted by eMarketer in 2023 found that there are more non-console gamers than there are console gamers. This same study also suggests that the reason for the popularity of non-console games has to do with their connectivity options, which include the likes of VR headsets and TVs.


The vast majority of American households now subscribe to at least one form of online streaming service. Additionally, most Americans now prefer streaming to cable television. Netflix has long dominated the streaming platform game, but there are many other options including Disney+, Tubi TV, and Amazon Prime Video.

Streaming sites are not only popular for watching movies and TV shows, but they can also provide sports fans with greater access to live games than cable ever could. There’s a wide range of sports streaming sites to choose from, including ESPN, NBA TV, and the Golf Channel.

Short-Form Videos 

Not everyone has the time or the attention span to watch full movies. Younger age groups – particularly Generation Z – spend a large part of their time on short-form video platforms such as YouTube and TikTok. A much higher level of engagement from youngsters has been noted for short clips and reels than it has for long-form video content.

However, it’s not only the younger generations who enjoy watching short-form videos. Older age groups can often be found spending break time, travel time, and spare time on their phones watching short, seconds-long clips. The likes of TikTok definitely provide a quick means of entertainment and help people pass the time.


The advancement of mobile phones and other internet-connected devices has completely transformed the American entertainment industry. No longer restricted to physical or cable-based entertainment, we can now use our devices to stream movies, partake in online gambling, play video games, listen to music, and so on.

In some cases, the digital alternative has totally replaced the physical – but not in all. There is still a demand for in-person experiences, including visiting a casino, going to the movies, or attending a sports game.

Sarah C. Burdett

I hail from Baytown in the American South. Reading is my passion; it broadens my understanding of the world. Sharing is my joy; I hope my content brings you delightful experiences. In a world rushing you to grow up, I aspire to protect the fairy tale within your heart with my words.

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