Emarketer Media

UK Media consumption plateaus as consumers reach saturation point


By John Glenday, Reporter

May 1, 2018 | 3 min read

UK consumers may have reached their limit as far as media consumption goes after publication of the latest eMarketer survey of time spent on the sector showed an overall leveling off.


Media consumption plateaus as consumers reach saturation point

Over 2018 the marketing research specialists calculate that the average UK adult will spend an average of nine hours and 23 minutes either watching, reading, streaming or listening to music each day, the first year of flat growth since the organisation began recording the metric.

In 2013 the equivalent time spent figure was just eight hours and nine minutes but that has crept up incrementally each year – until now, leading eMarketer to suggest that media penetration is now at ‘saturation point’.

While total time spent remained unchanged the composition of that allocation has changed significantly with digital mediums, especially mobile, accounting for an ever-increasing share of our leisure time.

Bill Fisher, eMarketer’s UK analyst, said: “The way that people consume media will continue to change. Many traditional habits are simply transitioning over to digital devices and platforms, while digital-only habits continue to proliferate. However, what’s apparent from this forecast is that UK adults have reached a plateau. While the media mix may ebb and flow, and it will increasingly flow toward mobile, adults’ media consumption capacity has reached its peak.”

This year eMarketer predicts that Britons will spend half of their media time on digital sources with mobile accounting for 32% of that, overtaking TV (30.8%) for the first time.

In China mobile use is also projected to overtake TV, with the average person spending 2 hours, 39 minutes a day on mobile devices in 2018, equivalent to 41.6% of their daily media time.

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