The amount of time people around the world devote to using mobile internet will increase by 27.7% this year, driving a 1.4% increase in overall media consumption, according to Zenith’s Media Consumption Forecasts, published today. The consumption of all other media – including desktop internet – will decline, by 3.4% in total.
This is the second annual edition of the Media Consumption Forecasts, which surveys changing patterns of media consumption, and assesses how the amount of time people allocate to different media will change between 2016 and 2018. The report looks at the amount of time spent reading newspapers and magazines, watching television, listening to the radio, visiting the cinema, using the internet, and viewing outdoor advertising while out of the home. This edition covers 71 countries across the world, up from 65 last year.
71% of internet consumption is now mobile
Desktop internet consumption grew rapidly in the early years of this decade, peaking at 52 minutes a day in 2014, up from 36 minutes a day in 2010. But desktop consumption is now in decline as users switch to mobile devices. In 2015 mobile overtook desktop to become the primary means of accessing the internet, and this year we forecast that people across the world will spend on average 86 minutes a day using mobile internet, compared to 36 minutes using desktop internet. This means that 71% of internet consumption will be via mobile. The region most heavily skewed towards mobile internet consumption is Asia Pacific, where 73% of internet consumption is mobile, closely followed by North America, where the mobile share is 72%.
Mobile internet grows while all other media decline
Mobile internet consumption is now growing at the expense of all other media. We forecast that the average time spent with mobile internet globally will grow 27.7% this year, while time spent with desktop internet will fall 15.8%. All traditional media will shrink this year: cinema by 0.5%, outdoor by 0.8%, television by 1.5%, radio by 2.4%, newspapers by 5.6% and magazines by 6.7%.
Note that these figures only refer to time spent with these media in their traditional forms – with printed publications and broadcast television channels and radio stations. Much of the time that consumers spend on the internet is devoted to consuming content that has been produced by traditional publishers and broadcasters. Traditional media owners have invested heavily in online brand extensions, and some of them have larger audiences online than they ever had for their offline products. The expansion of mobile internet consumption is an opportunity for traditional publishers and broadcasters, as much as a threat.
Mobile drives continued growth in total media consumption
The growth of internet consumption (first desktop, now mobile) has driven a 7.9% increase in the total consumption of all media between 2010 and 2015, from 403 minutes a day to 435. Growth has averaged 1.5% a year, and we forecast a further 1.4% growth this year. For 2017 we forecast 1.2% growth, then just 0.4% growth in 2018 as mobile consumption starts to level off. We expect global media consumption to average 448 minutes a day in 2018.
Television still dominates global media consumption
Despite its recent decline, traditional television remains by far the most popular of all media globally, attracting 177 minutes of consumption a day in 2015. Internet consumption came second at 110 minutes a day. Television accounted for 41% of global media consumption in 2015, and we expect it will still account for 38% in 2018, when the internet will account for 31%.
“Mobile technology is transforming the way people around the world consume media, and is expanding overall media consumption,” said Jonathan Barnard, Zenith’s Head of Forecasting. “It provides traditional media owners the opportunity to reach people and places they’ve never had access to previously, and gives consumers entirely new ways to find and enjoy compelling content.”