Traditional Media Growth Dips as Digital Grows

Usage of traditional media in the U.S. dropped 2.4% in 2015 while digital media use jumped 33.5%, according to a new report from PQ Media.

The drop puts traditional media usage at 46.8 hours a week and PQ Media predicts it will continue to decline at a 2.1% compounded annual rate through 2019. That would put it down more than 10 hours per week going back to 2009.

Total media use rose 0.1% in 2015 to 64.7 hours per week. PQ Media projects media use to rise 0.7% through 2019 to 67 hours per week.

Television remains the most used media in both traditional and digital with consumers looking at 32.4 hours per week or a 50.2% share.

PQ Media says TV remains strong because of the expansion of devices with which consumers can access programming, including TV sets, OTT video, laptop computers and smart phones. PQ includes the scripted shows created for non-TV sets in its TV watching.

In 2015, the amount of time spent with ad supported media was overtaken by the amount of time spent with subscription media, PQ Media said. Time spent with ad supported media is expected to drop to 46% by 2019.

Digital media uses will rise at a 7.3% rate, hitting 23.9 hours in 2019, PQ Media says.

The fastest growing digital media channel in the U.S. was mobile video, which was up 33.5% in 2015. Mobile video usage was up 26.9%.

“Increasingly, online and mobile media usage is being driven by the digital brand extensions of traditional media, driving up overall media usage as more content is repurposed for digital devices, such as internet and mobile video streaming of TV programs and movies; online radio stations; web-based multiplayer editions of console videogames; and mobile newspaper and magazine apps,” said PQ Media president Patrick Quinn.

Generation X consumers are the heaviest digital media users in the U.S., consuming an average of 25.3 hours a week in 2015. The iGen group, the youngest demo, expended 39.5% of their total time spent with media on digital formats, the highest share of all five generation categories.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.