Global Consumers Spend 800 Hours A Year On Mobile


The amount of time spent by global consumers accessing the mobile internet has grown from 80 minutes a day in 2015 to 130 minutes a day in 2019, according to ROI agency Zenith.

That equates to an average growth rate of 13% a year and means that consumers around the world now spend an average 800 hours a year accessing content via mobile – and the total is forecast to rise to 930 hours by 2021.

Now in its fifth year, Zenith’s latest Media Consumption Forecasts report, which is based on data from 57 markets worldwide, attributes the rapid growth to more affordable smartphones, faster connectivity, better screens and app innovation.

But with most people in developed markets already owning a mobile device and ownership becoming more common in emerging markets, Zenith forecasts annual growth in the amount of time people spend on mobile devices will decline to 8% between 2018 and 2021.

By then, mobile internet usage is expected to account for 31% of global media consumption, up from 27% this year, but still slightly behind the 33% secured by traditional television.

That means traditional television will remain the world’s favourite medium in two years’ time, although television viewing is expected to dip from 167 minutes a day in 2019 to 165 minutes a day in 2021.

Zenith also notes that the rapid growth of mobile usage around the world has lifted overall media consumption to an average of 479 minutes a day, up from 420 minutes in 2013, and this is expected to grow further to 495 minutes a day by 2021.

But mobile’s rise from 2014 to 2019 has come at the expense of newspapers and magazines (print versions only) as well as desktop internet usage.

The average amount of time people spent reading print newspapers has fallen from 17 minutes a day in 2014 to 11 minutes in 2019, while magazine consumption declined from eight minutes a day to four over the same period. Meanwhile, desktop internet usage fell from 47 minutes a day to 40.

However, Zenith found that radio and cinema remained “robust”, with radio listening increasing from 53 minutes a day to 55 from 2014 to 2019, while demand in China helped lift time spent at the cinema from 1.8 minutes to three minutes a day on average.

Credit: WARC

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