Global digital media usage increased 12.9% last year to an average of 5.3 hours per week, led by a surge in time spent with mobile media. That’s among the key findings from a new study by PQ Media, which estimates digital media growth from 2007 to 2012 at 16.6% a year.
The media research firm separates digital into three overall segments -- Internet media, mobile media, and “other” digital media --
spanning 21 subcategories from social media to over-the-top digital (OTT video) and digital out-of-home media.
Mobile usage in 2012 increased 21.9% over the prior year to 1.1 hours per week, while Internet use rose 10.9% to 2.5 hours. "Other" digital media consumption gained at a similar rate (10.3%) to 1.6 hours. So-called "traditional" media grew only 1.8%.
Internet use overall accounted for nearly half of digital time spent (47.6%), with mobile accounting for 21.2%, and other digital media nearly a third (31.2%). Traditional media still garnered the vast majority of time spent, at 37.86 hours weekly on average, or 87.6% of total media consumption. But that reflects only a 1.8% increase over 2011.
Even so, the PQ Media study indicates the digital shift is well underway. The 12.4% share of digital media use in 2012 is nearly double what it was in 2007, while its share of total advertising and marketing revenue in that period also nearly doubled to 22.9%.
Looking at demographics, the study found that Gen X led all other age groupings with an average of 6.61 hours of digital media consumption, followed by baby boomers at 5.88 hours. That may seem odd, given that those 18-34 are considered the most avid mobile and social media users. PQ Media noted the ranking is skewed by the BRIC countries, where older, wealthier people are more able to afford expensive digital media devices.
In developed countries including the U.S., U.K, Australia, and South Korea, Millennials rank either first or second in digital media consumption. Furthermore, iGens (those born since 1995), have the highest share of total digital media use worldwide, at 19.1%, fueled by their affinity for gaming across online, mobile and other digital platforms.
A separate eMarketer report last week estimated time spent with digital media per day is expected to surpass TV viewing time for the first time this year. The average adult will spend over five hours a day online, on non-voice mobile activities, or with other digital media, compared to 4 hours and 31 minutes watching television.
Consumers in four of the world’s largest media economies averaged more than 15 hours a week using digital media last year, led by Australia (15.77 hours), and followed by South Korea, the U.K. and the U.S. What do they have in common? Double-digit penetration rates for broadband Internet access, over 50% smartphone adoption, growing demand for tablets, and a range of OTT devices available to consumers.
The report is the second in a three-part series focusing on digital media and follows its “Global Digital & Alternative Media Revenue Forecast 2013-2017” released in June. That study predicted advertising and marketing spend in areas including mobile, Internet, digital out-of-home and product placement would reach almost $257 million this year.