Global consumer media usage & exposure, including all digital and traditional media combined, is on pace to grow an estimated 1.9 per cent to an average of 50 hours per week (HPW) in 2017, according to research from PQ Media. Consumer time spent with media worldwide is projected to increase another 2.5 per cent in 2018, according to PQ Media’s Global Consumer Media Usage & Exposure Forecast 2017-21.
Driven by continued strong growth in mobile media channels, digital media usage is expected to rise an estimated 10.1 per cent to 10.7 HPW in 2017, accounting for 23.6 per cent of all global media usage, up from only 14.1 per cent just six years ago. Among the high-octane channels driving growth are mobile video, audio, and books, the three fastest-growing digital media channels in 2017.
Time spent accessing content on digital devices is on pace to rise 12.5 per cent in 2017 to 12.3 HPW. However, with consumers using wireless devices more often to access content, global internet media usage increased only 3.5 per cent in 2016, compared with double-digit gains for the other two digital media platforms – mobile media and other digital media, which includes OTT video, satellite TV, digital out-of-home media, console & PC video games, and satellite radio.
In some major markets, such as the US, internet media usage is already declining on an annual basis. In addition, mobile media usage growth is decelerating annually because many markets are near saturation with over 80 per cent wireless device penetration, as well as some major media markets reporting declines in mobile phone subscribers over the past few years, including Brazil in 2016 due to economic instability.
PQ Media analysts noted that the continuing shift of consumer time spent with media to digital devices and mobile media has distinct generational overtones across the globe. Although i-Gens (born after 1996) use media the least – slightly over 25 HPW in 2017 – 36 per cent of their media consumption is done via digital devices. By comparison, the Great Generation (born before 1945) use media the most at nearly 72 HPW worldwide, but only 17 per cent of their media consumption occurs on digital devices.
Meanwhile, traditional media usage is on pace to decline 0.4 per cent in 2017 to 38.2 HPW, the first overall decline of conventional media ever recorded worldwide, although individual markets have registered declines in traditional media usage for years. Only two of the eight traditional media platforms tracked by PQ Media generated growth in 2016 – radio at 2.7 per cent and print books at 1.4 per cent, as radio is an important medium in rural areas across the globe and younger demos preferring print books over e-books due to screen fatigue, according to PQ Media’s Global Consumer Media Usage & Exposure Forecast 2017-21.
“Media consumption continues to grow as consumers have 24/7 access to content, often driving growth, not declines, in hybrid media silos, such TV viewing rising when terrestrial TV viewing is combined with streaming videos of TV episodes,” said PQ Media President Patrick Quinn. “In fact, the digital extensions of traditional media content, like TV subscription services, accounts for more than half of all internet and mobile media usage.”
In the US, the world’s largest media market, overall consumer time spent with media is projected to grow an estimated 0.3 per cent to 70.7 hours per week in 2017, followed by an anticipated 1.8 per cent gain in 2018 due to Olympics and political campaign viewing. While mobile media is driving growth, there are indications that growth will decelerate going forward as fewer consumers are purchasing their first computer tablets and shipments have fallen over the past few quarters.
Digital media usage & exposure is estimated to rise 6.0 per cent in 2017 to 26.4 HPW, accounting for 37.4 per cent of overall time spent with media in the US, up from 24.7 per cent in 2011, PQ Media found. Mobile audio, mobile video and mobile books, were the three fastest-growing digital media channels in 2016, with a surge in audio subscription services during the year, as they more than doubled in size. OTT video viewing was the only non-mobile digital channel to post a double-digit gain in 2016, as more streaming services roll out more original scripted programming, with Amazon reportedly having a larger production budget than most cable networks.
Traditional media usage & exposure in the US is on pace to decrease 2.9 per cent in 2017 to 44.2 HPW, despite growth in viewership and readership at many news outlets. The Greatest Generation will top all other demo groups in 2017 with total media usage of 89.7 HPW, while i-Gens will spend 53 per cent of their time spent with media using digital devices, according to PQ Media.