UK consumers watching less TV, but spending more

UK consumers are increasingly prepared to pay for media content despite the fact they are spending fewer hours watching TV, reading books and browsing social media sites than in previous years, a survey by advisory firm KPMG has found.

The study adds that media consumption decreased slightly between 2009 and 2012, while money spend on media is up across almost all categories of traditional and new media formats, with spending on digital books, online games, magazine and newspaper apps having increased the most, along with traditional TV.

David Elms, head of media at KPMG, said: “The results clearly show that UK consumers are increasingly making more conscious decisions about what type of media they choose and how much time they spend on it.

“Contrary to popular perception they are also increasingly prepared to spend money, especially for digital content,” he added. “The results prove that media companies are already changing habits and persuading consumers that content is worth paying for.”

TV still attracts by far the most consumer spending on media products and services – GB£ 10 (US$ 15) per month, compared to GB£ 6 per month for traditional media like newspapers, and a paltry GB£ 2 per month for digital media.

Most of the digital media spend goes on eBooks and online gaming, but paid apps are proving to be increasingly popular, according to KPMG.

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  • Elements of this research are interesting, but why has KPMG wasted time and money asking people in the UK how much TV they watch when a) asking people to guess their media consumption is obviously flawed (especially just asking an online panel), and b) the UK leads the world in actual TV viewing measurement through the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB)?
    BARB tells us that people in the UK are not watching less TV; on the contrary we are watching more. Viewing of linear TV has reached and maintained a record level in recent years of 4 hours a day, and watching on-demand TV – both on connected TV sets and on other mobile screens – is growing, adding approximately 3 minutes a day on average.

    Simon Tunstill on UK consumers watching less TV, but spending more

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