Global Consumer Media Usage Grew 2.6% to 49.1 Hours Weekly in 2016, Driven By High-Octane Mobile Media Channels, As Digital Media Nearly Doubles Share of Usage in 5 Years

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Global consumer media usage & exposure grew an estimated 2.6% to an average of 49.1 hours per week in 2016, and is projected to increase 2.1% this year, driven by mobile media growth and the expansion of OTT video services, according to new research by PQ Media.

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Media is becoming more addictive due to the growth of digital devices that provide 24/7 access to content, which is the primary driver behind the continued expansion of global media consumption.

Global consumer media usage & exposure - including all digital and traditional media combined - grew an estimated 2.6% to an average of 49.1 hours per week (HPW) in 2016, according to new research from PQ Media. Overall consumer time spent with media worldwide is projected to increase 2.1% in 2017, surpassing an average of 50 HPW for the first time, according to PQ Media’s Global Consumer Media Usage & Exposure Forecast 2016-20.

Driven by strong growth in mobile media channels, digital media usage & exposure rose an estimated 11.9% to 10.7 HPW in 2016, accounting for 21.8% of global media usage, up from only 12.5% just five years earlier. Mobile video, audio and gaming were the three fastest-growing digital media channels, as mobile gaming surged on the release of Pokémon Go and virtual reality headwear during the year.

Global internet media usage declined for the second time in three years, due to the consumer shift to mobile media. Online gaming growth decelerated as Millennials switched from older internet stalwarts to play newer mobile games, while younger generation groups are also accessing online news and information less than in prior years. Online search use dropped substantially for the third time in four years in 2016, as desktop and laptop computer sales declined. Other digital media channels, such as over-the-top (OTT) video and digital out-of-home (DOOH) media, extended their multi-year streak of strong growth in 2016. OTT video consumption benefited from the expansion of Netflix services worldwide.

Meanwhile, traditional media usage inched up 0.3% to 38.4 HPW worldwide in 2016, led by terrestrial radio’s 2.5% increase, although this was the third consecutive year that radio listening growth decelerated. Live television viewing declined for the sixth straight year, despite increased usage during the Summer Olympics. Nevertheless, TV remained the most used media platform worldwide with consumers tuning in an average of 21.8 HPW, according to PQ Media’s Global Consumer Media Usage & Exposure Forecast 2016-20.

Print newspaper reading exhibited the deepest worldwide decline ever, despite the proliferation of digital “fake news,” particularly in the US. Print magazine declines decelerated in 2016, due to subscriptions strengthening in emerging markets, while print books increased for the first time in a decade.

“Media is becoming more addictive due to the growth of digital devices that provide 24/7 access to content, which is the primary driver behind the continued expansion of global media consumption. The on-demand pull versus the appointment push equation has shifted significantly and that has changed the type of content being consumed,” said PQ Media President Patrick Quinn. “In general, consumers no longer care as much about in-depth news reports and full-length television programs. Instead, they crave snippets of information and entertainment - from the infographic to the viral video clip - because many just can’t wait to get to the next media byte.”

In the US, the world’s largest media market, overall consumer time spent with media grew an estimated 1.9% to 70.4 HPW in 2016. US consumer media usage & exposure is expected to increase 1.2% in 2017. Similar to the global trend, mobile media is driving growth in overall media consumption at the expense of online media in the US, as consumers shift to smartphones and tablets from desktop and laptop computers, particularly the younger i-Gen and Millennial generations.

Digital media usage & exposure grew an estimated 9.2% in 2016 to 25.3 HPW, accounting for 35.9% of overall time spent with media in the US, up from 24.7% five years earlier, PQ Media found. Mobile video, mobile audio, and mobile books, directories & databases were the three fastest-growing digital media channels, as mobile video benefited from telecoms offering more megabytes at lower fees and mobile audio enjoyed more younger demos signing up for subscription services.

US internet media use fell for the third straight year in 2016, with major headwinds coming from declines in online social media, online audio, and online search & email. The bright spot in online media consumption was that two of the three largest channels – online video and gaming – both posted growth years in 2016. Other digital media channels, including OTT video and DOOH media, posted another solid growth year, with OTT video consumption getting a boost from the expansion of streaming video services offering original content.

Traditional media usage & exposure in the US decreased 1.8% in 2016 to 45.1 HPW, although the decline in print media usage was not as steep as in prior years, due to interest in the major political campaigns. Newspaper and single-copy magazine reading also declined in 2016, while print books were the only traditional media to post a gain for the year, fueled by the adult trade category. Live TV remained the most used media platform in the US with consumers viewing an average of 21.8 HPW, according to PQ Media's Global Consumer Media Usage & Exposure Forecast 2016-20

In the US, the Greatest Generation topped all generations with total media usage of 90.7 HPW on average in 2016, a 3% increase over the prior year, followed by Gen-X with average HPW of 84.9, and Baby Boomers with average HPW of 83.7, according to PQ Media. Gen-X led all generations in total digital media usage & exposure in 2016, with an average of 32.83 HPW, while digital media usage by Millennials grew the fastest at 12.1% over the prior year.

About the Forecast:

PQ Media’s Global Consumer Media Usage & Exposure Forecast 2016-20 delivers exclusive and consistent data and analytics tracking time spent with digital and traditional media, key growth drivers and challenges, and US and Global rankings, among other actionable intelligence designed to help media stakeholders benchmark KPI’s across the 4 major global regions; 20 largest media markets; 3 broad digital media platforms; 22 digital media channels; 8 traditional media platforms; 11 hybrid digital & traditional media silos; and 5 generation groups.

The new Forecast covers the 2010-20 period, with more than 850 tables, charts and graphs in a 450-slide PowerPoint deck featuring more than 250,000 data points. In addition, users can drill down into the Top 20 Global Markets with a Companion Excel Databook, delivering hundreds of deep-dive datasets by country, platform, channel and generation. Download your free executive summary and sample datasets at: http://www.pqmedia.com/gcmuf-2016-20.html

About PQ Media:

PQ Media is a leading provider of actionable market intelligence and strategic guidance to executive teams at the world's premiere media and technology organizations. Our research team analyzes the size and growth of over 100 digital & traditional media channels, focusing on operator revenues, consumer media usage, and consumer spending on media content & technology.

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