Smartphones and video drive time spent in digital media

For the first time, in 2019, UK adults spent more time using digital media than traditional media formats.

According to data from eMarketer, UK adults spent around 5 hours and 16 minutes with digital media in 2019. That’s 52.2% of all media consumed daily.

Back in 2018, adults were spending 5 hours and 3 minutes in digital media.

Bill Fisher, an analyst at eMarketer, expects that gap to widen even further over the coming years.

“This has ramifications for media companies, of course, but for marketers, too. They will need to weigh their ad budgets carefully. Traditional media will remain hugely important, but it will mean more complex strategies for reaching customers,” he explains.

However, the forecast cautions that digital media time-spent growth will be slowing down.

It is currently still being elevated by smartphones and other devices such as smart TVs.

UK adults used their smartphones an average of 2 hours and 16 minutes per day. Smartphones are expected to surpass 25% in the share of time spent by 2021.

Meanwhile, video is feeling overall digital media time growth.

In 2019, adults watched 1 hour and 25 minutes of digital video per day – up 10.4% compared to 2018.

Mobile device viewing was up 7.2% compared to the previous year followed by connected devices.

“The way people are watching video content is changing faster than ever before,” eMarketer senior forecasting analyst Cindy Liu said. “Streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime have become incredibly popular because of their vast libraries of original content, including some UK-produced titles. Coupled with the fact that these platforms can be watched on virtually any connected device, it’s not surprising that time spent watching digital video will continue to chip away at traditional TV time.”

Traditional media have declined steadily with newspapers, magazines, and radio all down.

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