The good news is the time consumers spend using media continues to grow in both the U.S. and worldwide. The bad news, according to the latest edition of an annual forecast released this morning by PQ Media, is the share of time they spending with ad-supported media continues to decline.
While the share of time spent with ad-supported media fell to less than half in he U.S. in 2018, it won't reach that mark worldwide until 2027, according to the new forecast.
And while the shift toward consumer-supported media has been driven by increased consumption of premium media services, especially subscription video streaming services that were accelerated during the pandemic, PQ sees a deceleration on that front as well, as overall time spent with media reaches a saturation point, especially amid growing economic uncertainty.
“As consumers continue to cut discretionary spending in 2023 amid current consumer sentiment and other key macroeconomic conditions, media companies have had to readjust projections and act accordingly," explains PQ CEO Patrick Quinn, noting, "For example, streaming video services reported in the first quarter of 2023 that they're cutting back production schedules of original content, other than live sports, as the average consumer is dropping to only four subscription OTT services from six last year, shaving off excess content subs that were added during the apex of the pandemic in 2020-21.
"As the gold rush to cash in on what appeared to be a sweeping secular shift to streaming video, audio, news, entertainment and sports was, ultimately, a non-recurring, short-term, cyclical event with resulting blowback implications on the broader economy."