Habit forming

Consumer consumption habits shift to new media but spending is down.
Digital media, Entertainment barometer, KPMG, Media consumption, Traditional media, Analysis, Broadcast Business


Consumers’ media consumption habits continue to shift although spending is down, according to a new study.

Consultancy firm KPMG released its six-monthly Media and Entertainment Barometer report last month.

The study of UK consumers found that the average spend on traditional media per person in the UK fell from US $14.2 to $11.5 compared to September 2009. More worryingly, the spend on digital media halved from $3 to $1.5 in the same period.

The report found that despite the disappointing drop in spending, consumers’ appetite for media remained strong. The average monthly consumption of traditional media rose from 11 hours and 40 minutes to 12 hours and 13 minutes.

The number of hours spent on digital media consumption enjoyed even larger growth from 6 hours and 14 minutes to 7 hours and 28 minutes.

Social networking and blogging was the most used digital media application with half of those asked using these services in the past 12 months. Video streaming was highlighted by 16 percent, an increase of two percent from September 2009. The largest increase in new media was for video-on-demand services, which notched up 24 percent compared to 19 percent in the previous study.

“The findings of the second KPMG Media and Entertainment Barometer illustrate the problem faced by the media sector in curbing the structural decline in revenues,” says David Elms, head of media, KPMG UK. “Online subscription models remain in their infancy and once more developed should provide a platform for significantly higher online revenues,” he adds.

“There is considerable focus on driving digital media revenues. Respondents indicated they do access more media because of online availability, but the tide has not yet turned, the majority of us still prefer consuming media offline. Only a quarter favoured online media access compared with 43 percent who said offline and a third said it made no difference. Creating integrated business models which make the most of both traditional and digital business models is, therefore, key.”

The recent success of 3D cinema was noted in the report with 27 percent of respondents having seen a 3D movie in the past 12 months. By comparison, only 15 percent of consumers said they were likely to purchase a 3D-enabled TV when they replace their existing set.

Of those that said that they were unlikely to purchase a 3D set, 63 percent said they didn’t see the need, 59 percent named price as a prohibitive factor and 49 percent said the idea of wearing the accompanying glasses was an issue. Only 12 percent had concerns over quality of service.

“It is early days with new technologies like VOD, 3DTV and e-readers, but they are examples of the innovations and platforms which can help drive new areas of revenue of the media sector in a digital age,” says Elms.

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