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Media Consumption Trends

The way our audiences consume traditional and digital media changes every day. Earlier this year, eMarketer released the US Time Spent With Media 2021 report, a summary of the shifting consumption trends across different media channels. We've compiled the highlights from that report.


Around the Clock Media Consumption


🎵 One, two, three o'clock, four o'clock, Instagram

Five, six, seven o'clock, eight o'clock, Television

Nine, ten, eleven o'clock, twelve o'clock, Youtube 🎵


Audiences are consuming media on a variety of different channels around the clock on a daily basis. Successful brands need to continuously monitor these trends to ensure that engaging and relevant content is being distributed to the appropriate target audience.


(images courtesy of eMarketer)



As a result of the pandemic, we saw an unprecedented (take a shot every time you hear someone say that word) amount of media consumption spread across a variety of different channels:

  • Time spent with media increased in 2020 as a result of the pandemic and more consumers spending time at home. Although it is expected to dip slightly in the coming years, it is projected to still maintain most of the 2020 growth.

  • Even when they weren't out and about (thanks to lockdown) audiences still spent significantly more time using social media on mobile devices than desktop.

  • The average time spent on media was dominated by digital platforms with traditional audiences expected to keep shrinking every year.

  • Radio listenership experienced a dip, which was catalyzed by the shift to a remote workforce/school.

  • Although it saw a boost during the pandemic, TV will likely experience a steady decrease as a result of the increased popularity of streaming services.

  • Overall digital media usage from 2019 - 2023 is projected to increase by two hours/day vs. traditional media, which will decrease by an hour.


What’s Next?


While these general trends are important, it's also key to note that eMarketer's report does not take into account the increasing polarization of media consumption habits between different age groups. It is a marketer’s responsibility to constantly monitor media consumption trends to assess which forms of media their target audience is using and how to properly connect with them. Doing this will ensure your content and messaging is reaching your audience on the correct channels and not falling to deaf ears.


Forming a thorough understanding of your audience's constantly-evolving media habits is essential for brands hoping to meet their business goals.


Want to learn more about your unique audience? We can help!


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