Social media now more popular than TV


GlobalWebIndex’s latest data shows that the internet now makes up 57% of global media consumption, with social media alone taking 26% of people’s media time, more than TV’s 23%. Tom Smith, GlobalWebIndex’s founder, exclusively talks us through their findings.

No one would argue with the idea that digital has changed both the way we consume media and also the types of media we consume.

But now it goes much further than that and for the first time digital now takes up more of our time than traditional media globally. It’s not the case everywhere, but our latest research shows that consumers spend an average of 10.7 hours a day with all forms of media and 5.6 hours of that time with digital media.

Based on 32,000 consumer surveys conducted in Q4 2012, we’ve found that 23 out of the 31 markets that we track at GlobalWebIndex show that consumers spend more time online than they do with media such as print, TV and radio.

Resistance is being led by the Netherlands, Germany and France, with Poland, the UK, US, Argentina and Australia also joining in the rear-guard action.

As you would expect, the trend to digital is being led by emerging markets such as UAE and China, where total online time takes up 7.3 and 6.1 hours of the day respectively. In fact, the Chinese spend the least time with traditional media, which accounts for just 35% of their daily consumption.

The rise of digital has been supercharged by social media. Out of the 5.6 hours that we spend with online media, an average of 48% is spent with social media (which is 26% of overall media consumption, compared to TV’s 23%). In markets such as the Philippines the trend is even more extreme and consumers spend 5.4 hours a day online in social in this country.

Global trends, however, are one thing but every market is different. The amount of time consumers spend online varies massively, for example, from just four hours in Japan to more than eight in Malaysia.