Digital Media For On-The-Go Consumers Leads Global Growth

According to the PQ Media Global Consumer Usage of Digital Media Forecast 2013-17, consumer digital media usage worldwide is on pace to grow 11.8% in 2013, driven by double-digit gains in time spent with 14 of the 21 online, mobile and other digital media channels. While global digital media usage continues to rise at double-digit rates, traditional media consumption is pacing for decelerated 1.3% growth in 2013, due to live TV trending flat.

Traditional media garnered the vast majority of overall time spent on media in 2012, averaging 37.9 hours per week, or 87.6% of total media consumption. Nevertheless, the consumer transition to digital media, particularly among younger generations, is gaining momentum. Consumer digital media usage accounted for 12.4% of global time spent with media in 2012, nearly double its share in 2007, while digital media’s share of total media revenues almost doubled to 22.9%, PQ Media found.

Patrick Quinn, CEO, PQ Media, says "…  the ability of digital media to… target and engage on-the-go consumers… key driver behind the gains in share of total media usage and revenues… traditional media still accounts for the lion’s share of media consumption… (but) post-Boomer generations spend on digital media is increasing at double-digit rates… hastening shift of advertising and marketing dollars…" 

Surging global demand from iGens, Millennials and GenXers for online and mobile video, social media and games, as well as over-the-top (OTT) video will boost consumer digital media usage this year to an average of 6.0 hours per week, according to the report. GenX (1964-79) led all other generation segments in 2012 with 6.61 hours of average digital media usage per week, followed by Baby Boomers (1946-64) at 5.88 hours.

US consumer digital media usage averaged 13.84 hours per week in 2012, or 21.7% of total US media consumption, placing the country fifth among the world’s 15 leading markets. Average weekly consumer digital media usage increased 6.6% in 2012, while traditional media usage fell 1.2% to 49.80 hours weekly.

US consumers used internet media, including online video, social media and e-books, most often in 2012, as web-based media accounted for 46.5% of total digital media usage, which averaged 6.44 hours per week. Meanwhile, mobile media usage grew the fastest of the three major digital platforms in 2012, surging 28.7% compared with the prior year.

Although smartphone penetration reached nearly 50% by year-end 2012, the US still trails many other developed nations, such as Japan, South Korea, Australia and the UK. Of the 21 digital media channels tracked for this report, OTT Video, part of the “other” digital media category which includes DVR, VOD, ITV Games, and downloading videos via console videogame hardware, was used more than any other digital media channel in 2012.

The average US male consumer spent 1.5 hours more per week using digital media than his female counterpart in 2012, as American men consumed digital media at an average of 14.68 hours a week compared to 13.01 hours for women. The female average is skewed lower as a result of older women watching nearly one hour more per week of live TV than other demographics, while younger men are more avid videogame players.

Each of the five generation segments averaged more than 10 hours of digital media usage per week in 2012, led by GenX at 18.21 hours. Of total media usage, the average iGen (orGenZ, the generation currently being born… after the Millennial Generation) used digital media channels 31% of the time, the highest share of the five generations.

Average digital media usage among US consumers is projected to increase 5.8% in 2013 to 14.64 hours weekly, and reach 19.30 hours per week in 2017, rising at a 6.9% CAGR over the next five years. While growth will trail the global average, due to market maturation, it will exceed traditional media usage growth, which will decline at a 1.8% CAGR during the forecast period. Consumers are steadily migrating to digital media and devices to access news, entertainment and information for personal use. Digital media usage will account for 29.8% of total media consumption in 2017, ranking the US fourth globally.

GenX consumers will remain the largest digital media users among the five generations, growing to 24.99 hours per week in 2017, followed by Millennials and Baby Boomers, each of which will surpass 20 hours of weekly usage. By 2017, 45.1% of iGen media usage will consist of digital media, as Millennials and GenXers both exceed 33%.

The US is the leading market for computer tablet/e-Reader penetration, which will drive up consumer mobile media usage at a 15.2% CAGR through 2017, says the report. Computer tablets outsell e-Readers by an almost 5-to-1 margin, but the latter is favored by older generations, such as Baby Boomers and the Greatest Generation, who are beginning to shift their reading to digital versions of print products, a trend accelerated with the closure of bricks-and-mortar bookstore locations of major retailers.

Internet media will remain the most popular digital platform in 2017, reaching an average of 8.22 hours per week of usage, although its share of total digital media usage will fall to 42.6% as more US consumers use mobile devices to access content, particularly related to social media. Within the “other” digital media usage category, videogame usage is expected to surge due to new gaming hardware launched in late 2013

For the free executive summary, and access to the complete report, please visit PQ Media here.


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