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Digital Media Consumption – Statistics And Trends [Infographic]

Created: Nov 01, 2014

Updated: June 10, 2024

How much time do people spend consuming digital media online via various computing devices? You’ll be interested to know that nearly half (49%) the time, people use their mobiles to consume digital content online. That apart, mobile usage as a whole accounts for 60% of the time spent online. Desktop-based digital media consumption makes up the remaining 40%.

In this, the amount of time spend consuming digital media online differs from adults to kids and older folks. We’ve put together a number of interesting facts which will help you understand just how many people consume digital media, through what devices, at what times, how often and much more. Be sure to check out our infographic, “Digital Media Consumption – Statistics and Trends” for a detailed view of all the statistics pertaining to digital media consumption.

Digital Media Consumption

Infographic by- Web Design Bahrain

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Digital Media Statistics

  • As of April 2024, there were 5.44 billion internet users worldwide, which amounted to 67.1 percent of the global population. Of this total, 5.07 billion, or 62.6 percent of the world's population, were social media users.
  • Asia was home to the largest number of online users worldwide – over 2.93 billion in 2024.
  • As of April 2024, there were 5.44 billion internet users worldwide, which amounted to 67.1 percent of the global population. Of this total, 5.07 billion, or 62.6 percent of the world's population, were social media users.
  • In Norway, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, 99 percent of the population used the internet as of April 2023. And expected to increase by 9% in 2024.
  • The number of users is forecast to experience significant growth in all segments in 2027.
  • While mobile apps makeup 47% of internet traffic, 8% of digital consumption traffic originates from mobile browsers.
  • The amount of time spent on mobile devices has grown by 20% since 2010.
  • The number of smartphone users will grow from 134% to 220 million by 2018.
  • 88% of smartphone users actively engage with apps, spending 7 out of every 8 mobile minutes using various apps
  • 56% of the time people have spent shopping on U.S. online retail sites was through mobile devices.
  • 52% of retail site traffic now originates through tablets or smartphones.
  • 78% of smartphone-based searches and 64% of tablet-based searches resulted in local purchase, when compared to 61% of PC or laptop-based searches.
  • More than half (57%) of smartphone users access apps every day of the month, when compared to 26% of tablet users
  • About 79% of smartphone users access apps for at least 26 days per month, when compared to 52% of tablet users
  • People spend 42% of their app time on their smartphones on their most-frequently used app. Nearly 75% of all app usage occurs on one of the individual’s top four favorite apps.
  • Digital video viewing has doubled from 13 minutes a day in the second quarter of 2012 to roughly 27 minutes today.
  • Mobile video consumption on smartphones with screens larger than 4.5 inches was 44 percent greater than that on smaller phones.
  • Mobile accounts for nearly half (49%) of time spent consuming digital media.
  • Mobile usage as a whole account for 60% of time spent, while desktop-based digital media consumption makes up the remaining 40%.

Average Time Spent Per Adult Per Day

Activity Time spent (in hours:minutes)
Live TV 4:36
Watching time-shifted TV 0:31
Using DVD/ Blue-ray device 0:09
Using game consoles 0:11
Accessing internet via computers 1:07
Using smartphones 1:25
Listening to AM/FM radio 2:45
Using multimedia device 0:03

 

Average Daily Screen Use By Device (In Minutes)

Device Daily Screen Use (In Minutes)
Tablet 50
Laptop 108
TV 113
Smartphone 147

Devices Dominating Digital Media Usage

Smartphones lead the charge in digital media consumption, accounting for nearly 60% of all digital media time. These portable devices are integral to our daily lives, enabling everything from social media interaction to video streaming. Tablets, offering a larger screen than smartphones, are favored for activities like reading, gaming, and watching videos. Desktops and laptops remain crucial for tasks requiring more processing power or larger screens, such as professional work and in-depth research. Meanwhile, smart TVs have revolutionized how we consume video content, providing seamless, on-demand viewing experiences directly from the internet.

Popular Forms of Digital Media

Digital media comes in various forms, each catering to different needs and preferences. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter (now X) are central to our digital interactions, serving as hubs for news, entertainment, and social connections. Streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+ have reshaped our viewing habits, offering vast libraries of content accessible anytime. With the decline of print media, online news publications have surged, providing real-time information and quick updates. Podcasts have also become mainstream, allowing us to engage with content on the go, covering a wide array of topics that fit seamlessly into our busy lives.

Social Media Consumption Trends

Social media continues to dominate digital interaction. Facebook remains a giant, but platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn have established significant niches. TikTok, especially, has surged in popularity among younger users with its engaging, short-form videos. Different platforms attract different demographics: TikTok and Instagram appeal more to younger audiences, while Facebook and LinkedIn are popular among older users and professionals. On average, people spend about 2.5 hours daily on social media, highlighting our growing reliance on these platforms for communication and entertainment.

Video Streaming Trends

In the streaming world, Netflix remains the leader, but competitors like Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Hulu are also significant players. The success of these services often hinges on original content—shows like "Stranger Things" on Netflix and "The Mandalorian" on Disney+ attract and retain subscribers. Subscription-based models currently dominate the market, but ad-supported options are gaining popularity, offering cost-effective alternatives for consumers. This trend indicates a growing diversification in how streaming services generate revenue and cater to different audience needs.

Online News and Information

The rise of digital news outlets has been transformative. Traditional newspapers and magazines have declined significantly, while digital-first platforms like BuzzFeed, HuffPost, and Axios have thrived by delivering news in a fast, accessible format. As people increasingly turn to mobile apps and social media for quick updates, traditional media have had to adapt, offering digital subscriptions and online content to remain relevant. Mobile apps, in particular, have become essential tools for news delivery, providing real-time updates and personalized feeds that keep users informed wherever they are.

The Growing Popularity of Podcasts

Podcasts have become a significant medium in the digital landscape, with over 400 million listeners worldwide as of 2023. They cater to diverse interests, with true crime, comedy, and news being among the most popular genres. Successful podcasts like "Serial" and "The Daily" have set high standards for content quality and listener engagement. Podcasts have also influenced traditional media by introducing new storytelling formats and advertising opportunities. Many radio stations and TV networks now produce their own podcasts, reflecting the medium's growing importance and reach.

Impact of Digital Media on Traditional Media

The rise of digital media has led to a decline in traditional media consumption. Newspapers, radio, and cable TV have all seen significant drops as more people turn to digital content for its convenience and immediacy. However, some traditional media outlets have successfully adopted hybrid models, combining print and digital strategies. For instance, The New York Times and The Washington Post offer digital subscriptions that complement their print editions. Traditional media companies like the BBC and NPR have expanded their digital offerings to include podcasts, streaming services, and mobile apps, showing that adaptation is possible in the digital age.

Digital Advertising and Revenue Models

Digital advertising has evolved significantly from its early days of simple banner ads to sophisticated, targeted campaigns. Techniques such as programmatic advertising and influencer marketing are now leading the industry. Trends like video ads, interactive content, and native advertising are becoming more prevalent, enhancing user engagement and offering more value than traditional ad formats. Content creators are exploring various monetization strategies, including ad revenue, subscriptions, and sponsorships. Platforms like YouTube and Patreon provide creators with opportunities to earn directly from their audiences, reflecting the diverse ways digital media can be monetized.

Future Trends in Digital Media Consumption

Looking ahead, several trends are poised to shape the future of digital media consumption. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to revolutionize the field by offering personalized content recommendations and enhancing user experiences. AI-driven algorithms already play crucial roles in platforms like Netflix and Spotify. Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are expanding the horizons of digital media, offering immersive experiences in gaming, shopping, and storytelling. As these technologies become more accessible, they are likely to become integral to digital media consumption. User behavior will continue to evolve with technological advancements, leading to more immersive content, increased mobile usage, and deeper integration of digital media into everyday life.

Challenges in Digital Media Consumption

As digital media consumption grows, it faces several challenges. Privacy and data security are significant concerns, with users becoming more aware of how their data is collected and used, prompting calls for greater transparency and regulation. The pervasive nature of digital media has also raised concerns about digital addiction and its impact on mental health. Excessive screen time, social media pressures, and constant connectivity can contribute to stress and anxiety. Furthermore, the sheer abundance of digital content presents challenges in ensuring quality and combating misinformation. The spread of fake news and low-quality content can undermine trust and make it harder for users to find reliable information.

Infographic: Key Statistics and Trends in Digital Media Consumption

This infographic visually encapsulates the key statistics and trends discussed in the article. It highlights the dominance of mobile devices, the widespread use of streaming services, and other significant patterns in digital media consumption.

Conclusion

Digital media has revolutionized content consumption, providing unparalleled access to information and entertainment. From the rise of social media and streaming services to the growing popularity of podcasts, our consumption habits are continually evolving. As technology advances and user behaviors shift, digital media will keep transforming, presenting both opportunities and challenges. Staying informed and adaptable is crucial as we navigate this dynamic digital landscape.

FAQs

  1. What are the most popular forms of digital media today?
    • Social media platforms, streaming services, and online news outlets are currently the most popular forms of digital media. Each offers unique ways to engage with content, whether through social interaction, entertainment, or information.
  2. How has digital media consumption changed over the past decade?
    • Over the past decade, digital media consumption has grown significantly. The rise of smartphones and streaming services has led to more people spending time online, accessing content on demand, and engaging with interactive platforms.
  3. What challenges does digital media face in the future?
    • Future challenges for digital media include managing privacy and data security, addressing digital addiction, and combating misinformation. As technology evolves, these issues will need to be tackled to ensure a safe and reliable digital environment.
  4. How do different demographics consume digital media?
    • Consumption patterns vary across demographics. Younger audiences tend to prefer social media and streaming services, while older demographics may engage more with news outlets and traditional media adapted to digital formats.
  5. What is the impact of digital media on traditional forms of media?
    • Digital media has led to a decline in traditional media consumption but has also prompted traditional outlets to innovate and adapt. Many have embraced digital platforms, offered hybrid models and expanding their reach through online content.

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