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Internet drives media consumption

News, 01 June 2015

GLOBAL: People around the world will spend more than eight hours a day consuming media this year, according to a new report from ZenithOptimedia.

The media agency's Media Consumption Forecasts, which surveys the changing patterns of media consumption in 65 countries across the world, said a near 12% increase in internet use would push up the average time spent on consuming all media from 485 minutes daily in 2014 to 492 minutes in 2015.

Over the past five years, time spent on the internet every day has almost doubled, from 59.6 minutes in 2010 to 109.5 minutes in 2014. Over the same period, time allocated to more traditional media shrank from 402.2 to 375.8 minutes.

Looking further ahead, ZenithOptimedia forecast that overall media consumption time would increase by an average 1.4% a year to reach a total of 506 minutes in 2017.

But internet use will grow seven times as fast, at 9.8% a year, to reach 144.8 minutes a day, so pushing internet's share of overall media consumption up from 22.6% in 2014 to 28.6% in 2017.

Meanwhile, the consumption of every traditional medium except outdoor is expected to continue to fall.

The report noted that between 2010 and 2014 the amount of time people were exposed to outdoor advertising increased by 1.2%, from 106.0 to 107.2 minutes a day. It predicted this trend would slow, with annual increases restricted to just 0.2%.

ZenithOptimedia highlighted several factors at play, including an increased number of displays being built in public spaces, migration to cities in emerging markets, and consumers' greater willingness to spend leisure time out of the home as their disposable income recovered after the financial crisis.

"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."

Data sourced from ZenithOptimedia; additional content by Warc staff