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Digital Media to See Double-Digit Growth in 2013

4 Sep, 2013 By: Doug McPherson


STAMFORD, Conn. – Media researcher PQ Media reports that consumer digital media usage worldwide should grow 11.8 percent in 2013, driven by double-digit gains in time spent with online, mobile and other digital media channels.

In its new report, “Global Consumer Usage of Digital Media Forecast 2013-17,” PQ says that while global digital media usage continues to rise at double-digit rates, traditional media consumption is pacing for just 1.3 percent growth in 2013, due to a flattening in live TV.

Traditional media gained the most of overall time spent on media last year, averaging 37.9 hours per week, or 87.6 percent of total media consumption. But consumers’ move to digital media, particularly among younger generations, is gaining force. Consumer digital media usage accounted for 12.4 percent of global time spent with media in 2012, nearly double its share in 2007, while digital media’s share of total media revenues almost doubled to 22.9 percent.

Patrick Quinn, CEO of PQ Media, says the ability of digital media to target and engage on-the-go consumers is a key driver behind share gains of total media usage and revenues. Yet, he adds, “Traditional media still accounts for the lion’s share of media consumption, but post-Boomer generations spend on digital media is increasing at double-digit rates hastening shift of advertising and marketing dollars."

U.S. consumers used Internet media, including online video, social media and E-books, most often in 2012, as Web-based media accounted for 46.5 percent of total digital media usage, which averaged 6.44 hours per week. Meanwhile, mobile media usage grew the fastest of the three major digital platforms in 2012, surging 28.7 percent compared with the prior year.

Although smartphone penetration reached nearly 50 percent by year-end 2012, the U.S. still trails many other developed nations, such as Japan, South Korea, Australia and the U.K. Of the 21 digital media channels tracked for this report, over-the-top video, part of the “other” digital media category which includes DVR, VOD, iTV Games, and downloading videos via console videogame hardware, was used more than any other digital media channel in 2012.

Additionally, mobile is showing the power to convert sales in a number of key verticals. In a study from AOL and the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, 31 percent of conversions across four verticals occurred while on a mobile device. Over the past year, the cross-industry conversion rate for mobile grew 28 percent. The industries with the highest mobile conversion rates were telecom (purchasing a new plan or device – 37 percent); retail (making a purchase – 35 percent); auto (finding local dealers and requesting info – 22 percent); and travel (booking hotels, flights or reserving rental cars – 20 percent).

Researchers say the rapid growth of mobile conversion rates may be due to the fact consumers are now spending more time at home using mobile devices. The study says consumers now spend 25 percent of their total digital time at home on tablets or cell phones.

And, 75 percent of all mobile ad impressions were viewed within the home, counter to the prevailing wisdom that consumers spend the vast majority of their time interacting with mobile devices while outside the home. The data suggests that, as activity increases on mobile devices at home, so too does the propensity to purchase products and services from them.

Another major factor contributing to mobile conversions is the widespread adoption of the iPad. Two-thirds of mobile conversions were on tablets, with 85 percent of tablet conversions coming from iOS devices (iPad). Android and iOS devices each accounted for roughly 50 percent of conversions on smart phones.

Historically, advertisers have focused their mobile efforts either on branding or driving the purchase of mobile-centric offerings such as mobile game apps. This study points to an untapped opportunity to drive conversions for a much wider array of products and services via mobile.

Chad Gallagher, director of mobile at AOL Networks, notes that consumers are “increasingly using their mobile devices in much the same way they do with their computers when they're at home with a quarter of all digital time spent on smartphones and tablets at home, marketers can't afford to run desktop-only campaigns anymore.”

William T. Scherer, a UVa professor, says, “We're beginning to get a much clearer view of how consumers are interacting with Internet-connected devices.”


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