UK adults spent more time with digital media than with traditional media for the first time in the UK

By the end of 2019, UK adults will have spent a daily average of 5 hours, 16 minutes (5:16) with digital media. This represents 52.2% of media consumption. According to eMarketer, this is the first time, in the UK, that UK adults spent more time with digital media than with traditional media.

“We expect the gap to widen in the coming years, as content consumption continues to shift further onto digital platforms,” eMarketer UK senior analyst Bill Fisher said. “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.”

eMarketer says the in time spent with smartphones and other devices including connected TVs will fuel the growth in digital media. The video consumption is driving growth of overall digital media time. This year, UK adults spent 1:25 per day watching digital video, up 10.4% over 2018.

In the UK, time spent with traditional media among adults decreased by 4.2% this year to 4:50. According to eMarketer, a key reason for total traditional time dropping is TV time, which has been steadily declining. It will fall 5.9% this year as consumers spend more time with digital video. This year, consumers will spend 25.8% of their total media consumption on traditional TV.

“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.”

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