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Digital media use doubles in a decade

News, 03 February 2016

STAMFORD, CT: US digital media usage continues to grow steadily and the average weekly time spent will soon amount to the equivalent of a whole day, according to a new report.

Figures taken from the Global Consumer Media Usage & Exposure Forecast 2015-19 report, produced by researcher PQ Media, show that digital media use in the US increased by 7.1% in 2015 to 18.0 hours weekly, accounting for 27.7% of overall US media consumption.

It projected a 7.3% CAGR over the 2014-19 period, at the end of which it expected that digital media use would stand at an average of 23.9 hours, more than double the average time spent with digital media in 2009.

Within this, the fastest-growing digital media channel was mobile audio, with consumer usage surging 33.5% in 2015, fuelled by the growing use of music subscription services such as Spotify.

Mobile video usage jumped 26.9%, as telecommunications providers like Verizon began offering promotional plans on tablets and smartphones to offset declining data plan prices among its competitors.

"Increasingly, online and mobile media usage is being driven by the digital brand extensions of traditional media, driving up overall media usage as more content is repurposed for digital devices, such as internet and mobile video streaming of TV programs and movies; online radio stations; web-based multiplayer editions of console videogames; and mobile newspaper and magazine apps," said Patrick Quinn, President & COO at PQ Media.

Traditional media usage, meanwhile, was down 2.4% in 2015 to 46.8 hours weekly. And between 2014 and 2019, PQ Media expects a CAGR of -2.1%, equivalent to a drop of more than ten hours a week since 2009.

Television currently remains the leading combined traditional and digital media silo of choice in the US, the report said, with the average consumer viewing 32.4 hours per week, or 50.2%, of all media consumption.

But by 2017, total TV usage will fall below 50%, as younger demographics watch less television and the increased availability of other media content, such as user-generated content, eats into the medium's share of time.

Data sourced from PQ Media; additional content by Warc staff