Mobile Takes A Bite Out of Time Spent With Traditional Media Globally

July 15, 2019

People around the world are expected to spend close to 8 hours a day consuming media this year, representing an 11% jump from 2014, says Zenith in a new media consumption forecast. The rise of mobile devices is having a large impact on media consumption patterns, per the report, as increasing time spent with the mobile internet is eroding consumption of traditional media such as print newspapers and, to some extent, television.

This year, Zenith predicts more than one-quarter (27%) of media consumption across the 57 global markets tracked will be mobile, which is a growth of 12% from just last year. As such, people are expected to spend 130 minutes per day with mobile internet which is a dramatic increase from 80 minutes per day in 2015.

This rise in time spent with mobile internet has led to drastic changes with some traditional media, as the ubiquity of smartphones accounts for a larger share of eyeballs and consumption time. Print media, in particular, continues to take a hit.

Zenith estimates that the time people spend reading printed newspapers has plunged 35% between 2014 and 2019, falling from 17 minutes per day to 11 minutes. Time spent reading print magazines has been cut by half in that same timeframe, plummeting from 8 minutes per day to a mere 4 minutes per day.

Other traditional media haven’t taken quite the same hit as print media. Remaining the biggest medium, globally, television watching is at 167 minutes per day and accounts for slightly more than one-third (35%) of all media consumption. Between 2014 and 2019, time spent watching TV has declined only about 2%. This slow decline is expected to continue with TV viewing time predicted to drop to 165 minutes per day by 2021.

Time spent listening to the radio, on the other hand, is actually on the rise with daily listening time increasing from 53 minutes in 2014 to a predicted 55 minutes in 2019 (4% increase). This is not too surprising since, in the US alone, 9 in 10 (92%) of adults report listening to the radio.

Cinema viewing, which remains the medium with the smallest daily consumption, has seen a two-thirds (67%) increase in viewing time between 2014 and 2019 (1.8 minutes to 3.0 minutes per day). This sizeable percentage jump is largely due to increased cinema viewing in China. This will be good news to global advertisers who have made a forecasted 7.7% increased investment in cinema ad spend.

Additionally, a recent report from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) noted that global box office revenues were up by 1% year-over-year in 2018.

The analysts caution that these figures relate to non-internet use. In other words, they don’t account for time spent reading newspapers and magazines online or of time spent online with TV channels and radio stations. In some cases, increases in time spent online with these media more than offsets the declines in time spent offline.

Looking ahead, Zenith expects a 3.3% increase in total media consumption worldwide between 2019 and 2021, with the total time consumer media reaching 495 minutes per day (from 479 minutes in 2019 and 432 minutes in 2014). Mobile internet use is forecasted to account for 31% of that total in 2021 (up from 27% this year).

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