Globally the average person spends more than eight hours a day consuming media, according to the agency ZenithOptimedia.
Their extensive Media Consumption Forecasts report (paywall) draws this conclusion following surveys in 65 countries around the world; identifying differences across regions and key markets.
Jonathan Barnard, their Head of Forecasting, who co-wrote the report, talked to TheMediaBriefing about some of the study’s highlights.
Lessons for media companies
“The report highlights the necessity for media owners to embrace the internet, which is relentlessly attracting attention from traditional media,” Barnard says.
To illustrate his point, the study notes that internet usage is driving increases in media consumption. Although daily media minutes are only up 1.4 percent from last year – to an average of 492 minutes – internet media usage as a share of this figure is up 11.8 percent from 2014.
Since 2010, time spent using the internet has nearly doubled from an average of 59.6 to 109.5 minutes a day. In contrast, time typically allocated to more traditional media channels decreased from 402.2 to 375.8 minutes.
That might scare some businesses. But for Barnard, he sees this as an opportunity.
“By expanding the reach of media – by, for example, allowing people to watch video on their smartphones while out and about – the internet has created new opportunities for media owners to attract and profit from the attention of consumers,” he argues.
By 2017, they calculate, internet media consumption will reach 144.8 minutes a day, up from 109.5 minutes in 2015.
In contrast, most other platforms will continue to see their daily media minutes decline, as they constitute an increasingly smaller part of people’s everyday media pie.
Lessons for advertising companies
Despite this, “advertisers must be careful not to overreact to the rise of the internet,” Barnard cautions.
“Traditional media still accounts for three quarters of media consumption,” he notes, “and television is normally still the most efficient way to reach large proportions of the population quickly and without too much duplication.”
Instead, he proposes taking a difference perspective. The “internet is often a complement to traditional media advertising, instead of its competitor,” he suggests.
ZenithOptimedia’s study also reveals increased exposure to outdoor advertising. During the period 2010 – 2014, this increased by 1.2 percent from 106.0 to 107.2 minutes a day.
Factors for this cited by the report include:
“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.”
“Between 2014 and 2017,” the report author’s note, “we expect exposure to outdoor advertising to increase by 0.2 percent a year.”
More recently, Zenith have also predicted global ad spend will grow 4.2 percent in 2015, with Latin America and major Asian markets such as China and India leading the charge.
For advertising agencies – and media business dependent on ad dollars – this optimism may be offset by declines in ad spend in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia blocks; as well as ZenithOptimedia’s expectation that globally over the next few years this increase is also likely to be behind the rise in GDP.
TV is still the most popular form of global media platform, attracting over 3 hours of consumption a day in 2014. Nonetheless, despite TV’s resilience, its halcyon days are clearly a thing of the past.
“I was surprised that TV has been on a consistent global downtrend since 2010,” Barnard told us, “I would have expected the decline to have started at about 2013.” This “shows the value of having hard global data to correct our general impressions,” Barnard believes.
Although there are considerable regional variances, TV accounted for 42.4 percent of global media consumption in 2010. The mainstreaming of the internet has knocked this down to 37.9 percent in 2014, with an expected dip to 34.7 percent in 2017.
TV’s decline, ZenithOptimedia says, will typically be relatively slow and gradual.
In Latin America, for example, this decline is envisaged to be just 17.4 daily TV minutes over an eight year period – down from 213.5 minutes a day of TV viewing in 2010 to an average of 196.1 in 2017. Smaller drops are expected in markets such as Western Europe, and Central and Eastern Europe may even buck this trend and see a small increase in TV consumption.
However, in the Middle East, TV is expected to see a dramatic dropfrom 358.4 minutes viewing a day, to 212.8. This is due to an Internet explosion, with expected online minutes in 2017 for the region topping 376.7 minutes.
It’s a figure which dwarfs other regions; driven by the region’s substantial tech savvy youth population, and which reflects the importance for advertising companies of understanding local markets and media behaviours.
All eyes on China
“China shows us where the rest of Asia – and much of the world – is heading,” Barnard argues.
“The average time spent using the internet overtook traditional television viewing last year, and by 2017 is forecast to exceed all other media consumption put together.”
As in many other markets, a lot of this is driven by the mobile internet. 2015 is the year that ZenithOptimedia thinks will see mobile internet consumption in China overtakes desktop minutes.
For now, China’s digital day looks fairly typical, with TV enjoying peak evening hours; although the rise of online consumption in this time might suggest mainstream second screen behaviours. It’s also an indication, the report suggests, of the popularity of online TV services.
“Watching programmes through OTV is the ﬁrst choice for young people aged 15-34 as there is more content and the viewing time is ﬂexible; the popularity of big screen mobile phones in China also signiﬁcantly lowers the barriers to watching OTV,” they note.
Media Consumption in 2017
By 2017 the average consumer will be exposed to 506 minutes of media every day.
Media consumption will increase during this time by an average 1.4 percent a year, with the internet’s growth being a more headline arresting 9.8 percent a year. This means that growth in media consumption will be driven by online channels, as usage of traditional platforms continues to ebb.
Subsequently, the internet’s share of overall total media consumption will rise from 12.9 percent in 2010 and 22.6 percent in 2014 to 28.6 percent in 2017; more than doubling in less than a decade.
Not surprisingly, as a result of these changes in consumption, we can expect to see a further migration of advertising dollars to where the eyeballs are. It is against this backdrop that the internet will be the biggest medium for ad spend across a third of markets by 2017.
Although the internet will only account for 28 percent of global ad spend, that worldwide figure masks the fact that online advertising was already the dominant medium in seven advertising markets last year – Australia, Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK .
By 2017 it will dominate another five, ZenithOptimedia predict, namely; China, Finland, Germany, Ireland and New Zealand.
Globally TV will still dominate advertising budgets, just as it will our media consumption habits. But the gap between the advertising market shares of these two media is anticipated to shrink from 11 percentage points this year to just four in 2017.
By 2020, if not earlier, those positions may well be reversed.