Expect zigzag growth of media consumption as saturation point approaches

Expect zigzag growth of media consumption as saturation point approaches

Diving Brief:

  • As consumers spent more time with the media in 2021, the growth rate slowed from the previous year to 1.6%, averaging 54.4 hours per week (HPW), according to a PQ Media report shared with Marketing Dive. In 2020, the increase was 3.1% – the fastest increase in 15 years. The main digital media growth drivers were mobile video, online video streaming services, audio streaming services, podcasts, digital books, OOH digital media and video games.
  • PQ Media’s Global Media Usage Forecast 2021-2025 forecasts that media consumption will grow at an accelerated rate of 2.5% in 2022, driven by original content releases, international sporting events and federal elections in many of the 20 largest global media markets.
  • One of the byproducts of the pandemic is that the shift to digital media consumption has accelerated and increased by 8.3% in 2021 to 18.15 HPW, after a double-digit increase in 2020. As a result, the share of digital media use increased from 22% in 2015 to an estimated 33.4% globally in 2021.

Diving Insight:

Strong growth in global digital media use is offset by a decline in traditional media consumption, which is expected to decline 1.4% in 2021 to 36.23 HPW, the fifth consecutive year of decline, per PQ Media. Some media channels that are currently growing at double-digit rates will likely experience a deep slowdown in the coming years, particularly video streaming services that are dealing with the disruption for the first time. PQ Media also does not believe that acceptance in cinemas will reach pre-pandemic levels as the window for films shown on streaming services continues to shrink.

As media consumption approaches or has reached saturation, even years are expected to show growth while individual years see steady or declining use. Future growth will be driven by digital and sports events and elections. Among the sporting events likely to spur growth this year are the FIFA World Cup, the Winter Olympics, and the Rugby World Cup. In addition, the United States will witness a number of highly contested federal elections.

One area of ​​media consumption that has seen growth is user-generated content, with consumers saying they watch more of this content now than they did a few years ago, according to a recent report by the Consumer Technology Association. In addition to seeking entertainment, some of the top reasons consumers seek this content include learning how to do something, consuming content on niche topics, and watching content that isn’t on traditional TV.

By age group, the Great Generation (born before 1945) uses media mostly, averaging 93.1 hours per week in 2021, according to a BQ Media report. M-Gens (born after 2013) increase usage the most, up 13.6% in 2021, as parents allow them to spend more time with video games, books and various digital media. Globally, I-Gens (born 1996 to 2012) are the first generation in which digital media use exceeds traditional media consumption by 51.4% to 48.6%, respectively.

The PQ Media Report provides data, analysis and forecasts for consumer time spent with the media for the period 2015-2025, covering the 20 largest global markets and the rest of the countries in each of the four major global regions; 45 digital media platforms and channels; 11 traditional media platforms; 11 hybrid media silos (digital and conventional); And six generations of consumers.

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