July 1, 2022

Growth in mainstream media usage slowed in 2021 |

January 13, 2022

In contrast to the sharp increase in advertising and marketing spend momentum in 2021, time spent by consumers with media saw a more modest increase, similar to pre-pandemic trends until 2019, when signs of saturation of device penetration have started to appear, according to a study by media economist PQ Media.

Global consumer media usage, including all digital and traditional media channels, grew at a slowing rate of 1.6% to an average of 54.4 hours per week (HPW) in 2021, slowing by compared to the 3.1% increase fueled by the pandemic in 2020, which represents the fastest increase in annual media consumption in 15 years, according to PQ Media’s Global Mainstream Media Usage Forecast 2021-2025.

Covid-19 and the containment measures employed to stem its spread have shaken the media economy in 2020 in such a way that the secular trends that have held back the growth of media usage in some segments have reversed, including several digital media channels, while cyclical trends expected to drive usage in other segments has been postponed, such as the Summer Olympics, and emerging growth trends in new media have accelerated, such as the rise video and audio streaming.

Even though growth in media usage slowed in 2021 due to many countries easing lockdown mandates as cases declined, allowing businesses to reopen and hire new staff, as well as of executives returning to offices and students returning to classrooms, the gain was higher than expected and more in line with pre-pandemic levels. This was due to three factors which included: a) the unusual cyclical load of the Summer Olympics, which were postponed from the previous year; b) some major markets had to tighten pandemic restrictions when variants of Covid-19 emerged in late Q3 and Q4, forcing some consumers to stay home again; and c) the resistance of some employees to return to their offices and the so-called “great quit of 2021”, during which workers quit their jobs in record numbers.

One of the by-products of the pandemic is that the shift to digital media consumption has accelerated from 22% in 2015 to around 33.4% globally in 2021. In most developed countries, this share is more than 40%, and South Korea will become the first market in which the entire population will use more than 50% of digital media on average in 2022. Some generation groups already have more than 60% of use of digital media, like millennials in the Netherlands.

This change is the result of strong growth in global digital media usage, which increased by 8.3% in 2021 to 18.15 HPW, following a double-digit increase in 2020, as media consumption traditional is expected to fall 1.4% in 2021 to 36.23 HPW. HPW, the fifth consecutive year of decline, according to PQ Media.

According to PQ Media, the top digital media growth drivers were mobile video, OTT streaming video services, audio streaming and podcasting services, e-books, digital out-of-home (OOH) media, and video games. (console and digital). Meanwhile, traditional media usage has plummeted across most media platforms, with the exception of print books, over-the-air (OTA) radio, and traditional OOH, the latter two fueled by more cars. on the road that surpassed pre-pandemic levels in 2019 However, while admissions to theaters more than doubled in 2021, the traditional film industry as a whole suffered a decline in usage due to the drop in DVD sales.

The pandemic has altered near-term media consumption patterns such that the acceleration in growth in 2020 has been more pronounced while the deceleration in 2021 has been much milder. While most media is hit-driven, in which consumer usage increases when there is a list of hit titles, media platforms in 2020 saw record consumption, despite fewer blockbusters because, historically, the media tends to have a cathartic effect on consumers during tough economic times. .

In 2022, media consumption is expected to grow at an accelerated rate of 2.5%, driven by new and more compelling original content, various international sporting events and federal elections in several of the world’s top 20 media markets. Foremost among sporting events are coverage of the FIFA World Cup from Qatar (nearly 3.5 billion viewers in 2018); the China Winter Olympics; and the Rugby World Cup in the United States. Additionally, the United States will feature a number of hotly contested federal elections at the end of the year.

“We expect media consumption to show more erratic growth patterns over the forecast period due to the rapid shift to digital media that allows 24/7 access to content. media will continue to increase in even years, driven by sporting events and elections, such as the Paris Summer Olympics and the US presidential election in 2024, followed by steady growth in subsequent odd years for the overall global market and a decline in usage in developed countries, such as the United States,” said PQ Media CEO Patrick Quinn. “We believe media consumption has reached a saturation point.While the pandemic reversed some secular trends in 2020, it was simply a short-term disruption to key long-term trends that began to reappear in late 2021. keys remain, as various uses of traditional media will continue to slow or decline, such as cable television and print media subscriptions, while smartphone penetration is at or near saturation in major global markets, and several Internet and mobile media channels will continue to experience slower annual growth.

PQ Media also doesn’t believe admissions to theaters will ever reach pre-pandemic levels as the window for movies released on streaming services continues to shrink. Additionally, media channels that are currently experiencing double-digit growth will also face a sharp deceleration in the coming years, especially video streaming services that are facing churn for the first time.

Among other highlights from the report, the Great Generation (born before 1945) use media the most, averaging 93.1 hours per week in 2021. m-People (born after 2013) are increasing their usage the most, up by 13.6% in 2021. , as parents allow them to spend more time with video games, books and various digital media. Globally, i-Gens (1996 to 2012) are the first generation in which digital media usage exceeds traditional media consumption by 51.4% and 48.6%, respectively.

Among the 20 largest media markets, Japan posted the highest usage in 2021 (85.5 HPW), as well as the highest growth (5.9%) due to hosting the Summer Olympics which had been postponed to 2020, and most Japanese consumers were unable to attend. in-person games due to Covid restrictions which were instituted a few weeks before the games when the delta variant hit the country. South Korea had the highest share of digital media in total consumer media usage (49.7%). US mainstream media usage grew just 0.4% in 2021 to 74.7 HPW, with digital’s share of total media usage reaching 45.3%, according to PQ Media .

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