Global Demand Pushing Digital Consumption

According to the PQ Media Global Consumer Media Usage & Exposure Forecast 2014-18, surging global demand from iGens, Millennials and GenXers for mobile video, social media and videogames, online video and books, and over-the-top (OTT) video will push consumer digital media usage up 12% in 2014 to 6.5 hours on average per week.

Of the three digital media platforms, says the report, consumer mobile media usage worldwide rose the fastest in 2013, rising 24% during the year, while consumers spent the most time with internet media at 2.58 hours weekly. OTT video was the most used digital media channel. Meanwhile, traditional media usage inched up only 1.3% in 2013 to 37.99 hours per week, a slight deceleration from 2012. Combined, overall global consumer media consumption grew 2.8% to 6 hours and15 minutes daily.

Patrick Quinn, CEO, PQ Media, says “… surging OTT usage has spurred new VOD service upgrades… more content available via VOD faster… a new wave of DVR services, particularly in Europe… several key announcements in 4Q14 … as 2013 and the first half of 2014 were all about mobile… OTT has become the media darling in 2H14… as HBO's… standalone subscription-based streaming video service… set(s) the tone for more impactful news across… on-demand in 2015…"

Major Trends Driving Digital Media Usage:

  • With the increase in smartphone and tablet penetration, internet usage exhibits decelerating growth as consumers access sites via their wireless devices
  • Despite major revenue gains by leading social media sites… younger subscribers prefer to connect with friends on newer websites, such as SnapChat, Vine and market-specific sites
  • Videogame usage rose with the release of the Xbox One and PlayStation4, both on consoles and the digital extensions of the popular titles
  • Consumer exposure to DOOH continues to rise, propelled by networks expanding into new venues and locations, and even-year sporting events generating higher engagement with DOOH screens.

The study found that GenX led all other age groups with an average of 7.4 hours of digital media consumption, though Millennials are considered the most avid mobile and social media users. The ranking is skewed by the BRIC countries, where older, wealthier people are more able to afford expensive digital media devices, and iGens who have the highest share of total digital media use worldwide at 18.3%.

The United Kingdom ranked first in digital media usage at 16.9 hours per week, followed by South Korea, Australia, Canada and the US. Several commonalities exist among these markets:

  • Broadband penetration rates exceeding 70%
  • Over 50% smartphone penetration
  • Growing demand for computer tablets
  • Young men who are heavy console gamers
  • A range of OTT video devices and services
  • Advanced DOOH operators and signage deployments

Low penetration rates in emerging markets, though, have translated into governments scrambling to invest in technology upgrades, some linked to the 2014 sporting events, fueling the fastest growth rates for digital media usage in 2013, led by Brazil at a 21.1% gain, followed by Russia and India.

Going forward, consumer digital media usage is forecast to grow at a 10.6% CAGR worldwide in the 2014-18 period, reaching 9.6 hours per week in 2018, and accounting for 19.5% of all media consumption worldwide, says the report. Online media will remain the most often used digital media platform at a weekly average of 3.6 hours in 2018, while mobile media will remain the fastest growing digital platform, climbing at a 17% CAGR through 2018.

Concluding, the report notes that GenX will remain the largest users of digital media in 2018 at 12.1 hours a week, while digital media engagement among iGens will represent 31.6% of their total media consumption in 2018. In some countries, such as Australia, the iGens will use digital media more than traditional media. The UK will remain the market in which consumers use digital media the most at 25.6 hours weekly.


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