If it sometimes feels like all you do is stare at screens all day, you’re not imagining things. A media consumption forecast released by the global media agency ZenithOptimedia finds that people around the world are spending an enormous amount of time consuming media, and that the share of our lives devoted to that consumption is just going to keep growing.
“The average person already spends half their waking life consuming media,” ZenithOptimedia’s head of forecasting, Jonathan Barnard, said in a release accompanying the forecast. According to the report, average media consumption is greatest in Latin America, where the average person spends 744 minutes, more than 12 hours a day, consuming media content. Consumption is lowest in Asia, where the average daily consumption tops out at 301 minutes, just over five hours. Over the next two years, the global average, 482 minutes, is expected to increase to more than 506 minutes a day.
While overall consumption continues to grow, the only medium we’re spending more time with is the Internet. From 2010 to 2014, the amount of time people spent online every day nearly doubled, and the overall share of our media consumption represented by the Internet will only continue to grow, reaching more than 28 percent by 2017.
Everything else is being neglected. Newspapers and magazines experienced the most precipitous declines from 2010 to 2014, falling 25 percent and 19 percent, respectively. The amount of time people spent watching television declined 6 percent from 2010 to 2014 as well. TV remains the biggest ingredient in our media diets -- we watch more than 183 minutes of television every day, compared to about 110 minutes spent online – but that amount is projected to continue declining at a clip of about 2 percent per year.
This migration has driven some media companies, which used to be very protective of the content they put online, to look more and more at opportunities to create content designed to spread online, from Snapchat stories and Facebook-native content to branded digital channels where broadcasters, who are just waiting for a measurement standard to set in, can stream more video content.