Forecast: Look for media usage to slow post-pandemic

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PQ Media has released their 2020-2024 Global Consumer Media Usage forecast and among the more interesting predictions is this: global media usage will likely be flat, with only an expected 1% increase is usage; in 2020 usage across both online and offline media increased nearly 3% to more than 50 hours per week per user on average. Digital media usage, however, saw a nearly 10% growth rate as consumers stayed home to shelter-in-place during lockdowns.

“We projected last year that consumer media usage would likely reach a tipping point at which media consumption flattens by the end of 2023. And while the pandemic reversed some secular trends in 2020, we believe this was simply a short-term disruption of key long-term trends that will resume in 2021,” said Patrick Quinn, CEO, PQ Media. “The prime beneficiaries of this paradoxical growth surge in media usage were consumer-supported media, particularly digital video, audio, games, social media and chat services. There’s no doubt that streaming media as a group were the hands-down winners in an otherwise loser of a year for many media stakeholders, particularly those dependent on advertising-driven media.”

Other interesting findings from the report include:

• 28% of all time spent with media (2020) was digital
• Mobile video, audio, and gaming each saw at least 15% increases in usage
• Print media, book consumption, and radio audiences all saw significant usage increases through Q1 2020
• Japan, Russia, and South Korea showed the highest usage rates globally

More data from the forecast can be accessed here.



Kristina Knight is a freelance writer based in Ohio, United States. She began her career in radio and television broadcasting, focusing her energies on health and business reporting. After six years in the industry, Kristina branched out on her own. Since 2001, her articles have appeared in Family Delegate, Credit Union Business, and with Threshold Media.