Digital Media Content Isn't Just CTV

Not everything is going the way of digital -- especially when it comes to online digital reading.

Sure, we all know about the growth of digital video -- in particular, big screen-connected TV viewing, said to hit a $11 billion next year, as well as rocketing regular usage.

Looking more closely, regular readership usage of digital magazines dropped to 34% in 2020 from 44% in 2019, according to a recent poll by YouGov.

This is still better than actual paper magazine and newspaper reading: Magazines are down to 11% regular readers from 19% a year ago; newspapers dropped from 34% to 30%.

Ease of media consumption seems to favor the “cooler” media: listening and looking.

Consider that podcasts' average listenership usage is up from 39% in 2019 to 43% in 2020. Far and away the biggest category for podcasts is the news/politics category -- at 18%. The next-biggest category is comedy with around 11%, and music, at 10%.



One exception is radio, which still registers a high mark: AM/FM radio listeners' usage is down to 64% from 72%; satellite radio is at 32% from 38%. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in less people in cars commuting to work, school or other activities, which has taken a toll.

YouGov's research came from a sample size of 2,014 U.S. adults in 17 markets, per a survey fielded in November 2020. Data was nationally representative.

As for social media, reading doesn't take much time. I can still cruise through my Instagram account.

Marketers might then say: “Wait. Is there any real engagement here?” Sure thing.

The opposite response might be: “How much time do you need to make users aware of cheap car insurance, inexpensive mobile phone service, effective drugs for that nagging skin or an all-encompassing premium streaming platform for $5 a month?

YouGov responds this way: “Advertisers might begin to think less about shifting investment out of ‘listening’ as a strategy and think more about immersing brand support behind relevant and/or emerging podcasters, to engage attentive listeners.”

So there is room for more “fleeting” media content, as well as time-consuming “immersive” content? Future media creators take note.

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