Global Consumer Media Usage Up 2.1% to 50.9 Hours Weekly in 2018

Oct 16, 2018

Global consumer media usage and exposure, including all digital and traditional media combined, is on pace to grow 2.1% to an average of 50.9 hours per week (HPW) in 2018, powered by digital audio, video, books, news, and games, as well as the growing middle class in emerging markets demanding more digital content in their native languages, according to a closely watched annual study just released by PQ Media.

Consumer time spent with media worldwide is projected to increase at a slower 1.5% in 2019, due to the absence of even-year stimulation from major sporting and political events, according to PQ Media’s Global Consumer Media Usage & Exposure Forecast 2018-22.

Driven by continued strong growth in mobile media channels, overall digital media usage is expected to rise an estimated 8.8% to 12.7 HPW in 2018, accounting for 25% of all global media usage, up from only 15.2% just six years ago. Among the high-octane digital media fueling growth this year are mobile audio, video, and books–the three fastest-growing digital channels – each of which is growing by more than 20% compared with their 2017 rates.

In some major markets, however, mobile media usage growth is decelerating due to declines in smartphone and tablet sales, particularly in key international markets where wireless device penetration is either nearing saturation, like in South Korea, or reporting declines in mobile phone subscribers because of economic instability, such as in South Africa. Time spent accessing content on digital devices rose 9.7% in 2017 to 11.7 HPW. However, with consumers using mobile devices more often to access content, global internet media usage increased only 0.3% last year, and is expected to decline in 2018. Other digital media, including over-the-top (OTT) video, digital out-of-home (DOOH) media and satellite radio, among others, posted a strong 12.8% increase in 2017, and PQ Media pacing data indicates this category is growing at an accelerated rate this year due to the growth of OTT video services, driven by huge investments in original productions and native language programming.

PQ Media analysts noted the continued shift of consumer time spent with media to wireless devices and mobile media has distinct generational overtones. Although i-Gens (born 1981-1996) use media much less than older generations – slightly over 27 HPW in 2018 – almost 40% of their media consumption is done via digital devices. In comparison, the Great Generation (born pre-1945) use media the most at nearly 83 HPW in 2018, though only 19% of their media consumption occurs on digital devices.

With the release of the new study, PQ Media has become the first-ever market researcher to track consumer time spent with media among the world’s newest generation, a group identified as "m-Gens," or those born starting in 2013.

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