Internet use to drive 1.4% increase in media consumption in 2015

People around the world will spend more than eight hours a day consuming media this year. According to the Media Consumption Forecasts, a new report by ZenithOptimedia, people will spend an average of 492 minutes a day consuming media in 2015, up 1.4% from 485 minutes a day in 2014. This increase will be driven by the rapid growth in internet use, which will increase by 11.8%.


ZenithOptimedia’s Media Consumption Forecasts report surveys the changing patterns of media consumption in 65 countries across the world, and assesses how the amount of time people allocate to different media will change between 2014 and 2017. The report looks at the amount of time spent reading newspapers and magazines, watching television, listening to the radio, visiting the cinema, using the internet, and viewing outdoor advertising while out of the home.


Internet consumption to grow at 10% a year, expanding overall consumption

Global media consumption increased from an average of 461.8 minutes a day in 2010 to 485.3 minutes a day in 2014, an increase of 5.1%, or an average of 1.2% a year. Over these years, the amount of time people spent using the internet nearly doubled from an average of 59.6 to 109.5 minutes a day, while time allocated to more traditional media shrank from 402.2 to 375.8 minutes. Mobile technology in particular has created new opportunities to consume media, by allowing people to access the internet while out and about – shopping, commuting to work, waiting to meet friends, and so on.


We forecast that, between 2014 and 2017, the amount of time spent consuming media around the world will increase by an average 1.4% a year, reaching 506.0 minutes in 2017. Meanwhile, internet consumption will grow by 9.8% a year to reach 144.8 minutes a day. The internet’s share of overall media consumption will rise from 12.9% in 2010 and 22.6% in 2014 to 28.6% in 2017.


Traditional media losing out to competition from the internet

While the internet has propelled growth in overall media consumption, it has also eroded the consumption of traditional media. The consumption of every traditional medium except outdoor (i.e. newspapers, magazines, television, radio and cinema) fell between 2010 and 2014, directly because of competition from the internet, and we expect their decline to continue to 2017.


Newspapers have suffered the most from competition from the internet, followed by magazines. Between 2010 and 2014 the average time spent reading newspapers fell by 25.6%, while time spent reading magazines fell 19.0%. Television consumption fell by just 6.0%. Between 2014 and 2017 we expect newspaper consumption to shrink by an average of 4.7% a year, while magazines and TV shrink at average rates of 4.4% and 1.6% respectively. Note that these figures only refer to time spent with these media in their traditional forms – with printed publications and broadcast programmes watched on television sets. Any time that consumers spend with broadcasters’ and publishers’ online brand extensions is included in the internet total.


Exposure to outdoor advertising is rising

The amount of time people are exposed to outdoor advertising increased by 1.2% between 2010 and 2014, from 106.0 to 107.2 minutes a day. This is the result of several factors: more displays being built in public spaces, migration to cities in emerging markets, and consumers’ greater willingness to spend their leisure time out of the home as their disposable income recovered after the financial crisis. Between 2014 and 2017 we expect exposure to outdoor advertising to increase by 0.2% a year.


Television still dominates global media consumption

Despite its recent, relatively minor, decline, television remains by far the most popular of all media globally, attracting 183.9 minutes of consumption a day in 2014. Internet consumption came a distant second at 109.5 minutes a day. Television accounted for 42.4% of global media consumption in 2010, and 37.9% in 2014. We think it will still account for more than a third (34.7%) by 2017.


Latin Americans spend the most time with media, people in Asia Pacific the least

Media consumption is highest in Latin America, where people spent an average of 744 minutes consuming media in 2014, and lowest in Asia Pacific, where consumption averaged just 301 minutes that year. Time spent consuming media in Asia Pacific is growing well ahead of the global average, however, as economic development gives people access to more media, and more leisure time in which to consume them: media consumption expanded by 6.7% in 2014, and we forecast average annual growth of 2.9% to 2017.
“The average person already spends half their waking life consuming media,” said Jonathan Barnard, ZenithOptimedia’s Head of Forecasting. “But people around the world are clearly hungry for even more opportunities to discover information, enjoy entertainment and communicate with each other, and new technology is supplying these opportunities. Technology also enables brands to communicate with and learn from consumers in new ways. We expect media consumption to continue to grow for the foreseeable future, multiplying the opportunities for brands to develop relationships with consumers.”


17 replies
  1. Jonathan Barnard
    Jonathan Barnard says:

    I’m pleased to post the following response we have received from Liz Jaques, Communications Manager at Newsworks, the UK marketing body for national newspapers. I largely agree with Liz’s points. Newsworks has done a fantastic job in promoting research into news publishers’ activities across all media – digital as well as traditional. We’d love to include global information about time spent with ‘traditional’ media owners’ digital properties, like the information that Newsworks has helped make available in the UK, but are currently limited by the research available to us:

    “It’s a shame that this report refers to “traditional media” in their most simplistic form – rather than taking into account their digital platforms and audiences.

    “Newspapers, like other so-called traditional media, exist across multiple platforms including print, mobile, tablet and online – and have for a long time, which is why we call them newsbrands. Readers are accessing their content on different devices, but it is still the same content – journalism that is written, curated and paid for by publishers.

    “On that basis, it’s strange to talk of “competition from the internet” – the internet has provided lots of opportunities for newsbrands to grow and expand their offering, as well as reach audiences around the world. In the UK alone, total readership (across platforms) is up to 44.3 million a month and time spent with newsbrands is around 67 minutes a day on average, according to TouchPoints.

    “The AA/Warc Expenditure Report has gone some way to correctly attributing digital ad spend to brands, rather than platforms, and provides a helpful, unspun picture – hopefully our industry’s leading forecasters will follow.”

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