The rapid expansion of mobile internet usage in recent years means that a quarter (24%) of all media consumption around the world is expected to be on mobile this year, up from just 5% in 2011, according to a new global study.
In addition, mobile is forecast to continue chipping away at almost all other media, so that it accounts for 28% of all media usage by 2020, and this trend will compel brands to reconsider how they plan their communications with mobile consumers.
These are some of the headline findings from Zenith’s Media Consumption Forecasts 2018 report, which is based on data from 63 worldwide markets.
Now in its fourth year, the study examines changing patterns of media consumption since 2011 and forecasts how the amount of time consumers allocate to different media will change between 2018 and 2020.
Unsurprisingly, it confirms that print newspapers and magazines have lost the most media consumption time since 2011 – falling 45% and 56% respectively – although television and radio also have been hit.
The Zenith report estimates that time spent watching television shrank by three percentage points (pp) between 2011 and 2018, while time spent listening to radio declined by 8pp.
That said, Zenith emphasises that publishers and broadcasters have made up for much of these losses in readership, viewers and listeners by moving content online.
Cinemas have gained too, the report adds, revealing that time spent at the cinema increased 3pp between 2011 and 2018 on the back of increased investment by cinema owners and their efforts to create a better experience for customers.
Overall, the Zenith report estimates that the average person will spend 479 minutes a day consuming media in 2018, or 12% more than in 2011, rising to 492 minutes a day in 2020.
However, beyond the hard figures, Zenith notes that the rise of mobile has blurred the boundaries between different channels and advises brands that they now need to focus less on channels and more on a consumer’s mind-set.
For example, a consumer who actively searches for specific information has a very different mind-set from someone who is sharing holiday photos with friends or relaxing while watching a video.
“Mobile technology is challenging brands to rethink how they communicate with consumers,” said Vittorio Bonori, Zenith’s global brand president.
“Brands need to understand both the consumer’s mind-set and where they sit on the consumer journey, to determine how to communicate with them,” he added.
“By using data, ad tech and now artificial intelligence, brands can co-ordinate their communications across media and mind-sets to move them along the consumer journey most effectively.”