- Consumers worldwide will expand their average mobile internet usage by 16% to 930 hours a year by 2021 from 800 hours this year, according to Zenith's latest Media Consumption Forecast. That growth means that mobile internet usage will increase to 31% of global media consumption in 2021 from 27% this year, taking time away from TV, newspapers and magazines.
- Despite the growth of mobile media, TV will remain the dominant way for viewers to consume media for the foreseeable future. TV viewing this year will make up 167 minutes a day on average, ahead of mobile (130 minutes), radio (55 minutes), desktop computers (40 minutes), newspapers (11 minutes) and magazines (4 minutes). TV usage will slip to 165 minutes a day by 2021, media agency Zenith forecast.
- The portability of mobile devices has led to an overall expansion of time spent consuming media. Global consumers expanded their media consumption from 420 minutes a day in 2013 to 479 minutes a day this year. The average consumer will spend about 495 minutes a day consuming media by 2021, Zenith forecast.
Zenith's estimates of media consumption are another indication of how mobile technology has redefined what counts as media. Media consumption not only consists of watching video and listening to some form of audio content, but also includes activities such as chatting with friends, shopping, playing video games and managing personal finances. Increased media usage creates more opportunities for brands to connect with consumers, especially on mobile platforms that provide interactivity, immersive advertising and direct-to-consumer sales.
Mobile usage not only is eating into the time spent on traditional media, but it also is taking time away from desktop internet. Desktop internet usage is estimated to decline to 40 minutes a day this year from 47 minutes in 2014, Zenith estimated. That decline underlines the importance for brands of having a website that is optimized for mobile web consumption. Search giant Google next month plans to prioritize the mobile versions of new websites over their desktop counterparts, making the mobile web a key part of discoverability for brands and retailers.
Zenith's study of global media trends is interesting in the context of other studies that show how U.S. consumption of mobile content is overtaking traditional media. U.S. adults this year will spend more time using their mobile devices than they'll spend watching TV, eMarketer estimated this month. The researcher forecast that the average time spent on mobile devices will grow 3.7% this year to 3 hours and 43 minutes a day, surpassing the 3 hours and 35 minutes spent watching TV. Research shows that mobile video ads are a key driver of digital media spending. U.S. mobile advertising grew 40% to $69.9 billion last year, making up 65% of total digital ad revenue, per an annual report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PwC.