Content Consumption: Everything You Need to Know About it in 2018

The digital media landscape is in constant evolution, with changes happening at great speed. Innovations in screen technology, artificial intelligence and automated algorithms are driving these changes at a mindblowing pace; combined with the emergence of virtual reality and voice activated devices the market shows no signs of slowing down in its search to better consumers’ user experience of how they consume media content.

1. The Changes in Consumer Behaviour

Consumers’ behavioural patterns are changing and with ‘23% of millennials spending 5-10 hours a day engaging with online content’ (Content Science Review), the industry is taking note. As people’s lives become increasingly busy and time even more precious, it means less available time to dedicate solely to media consumption and increased media consumption while on the move and multitasking – ‘People want to consume content while on the go, on their own terms’ (CMO) and this is proven by Edison Research’s stat that ‘a year ago, 18% of podcast listeners described the car as the place they most often listened to podcasts; this year, that number is 22%’. Cleverly, the industry has listened and is making the relevant changes by introducing better out of home internet connection to facilitate this change in the marketplace: ‘More audiences will begin consuming a majority of their content on mobile devices with the introduction of 5G wireless.’ Edelman reports.

In this digital age consumers are demonstrating through their actions that they need and expect content and devices to adapt to their life, not the other way around.

2. Devices: How The Landscape Is Changing

With these behavioural changes comes the obvious knock-on effect on the types of devices used to access media – consumers need devices which are convenient and fit in easily to their fast-paced lives. ‘Weekly share of time spent watching TV and video on mobile devices has grown by 85% from 2010 to 2016. On fixed screens, consumption has decreased 14% over the same period.’ (Edelman)

This means technology needs to be as portable as possible and if possible intuitive – such as voice-activated devices and systems like Amazon Alexa and Siri. With mobility being fundamental to users it means the smaller the screen the better and the consequential death of larger screens. ‘Smartphones are still the preferred device for media consumption, the media and entertainment industries saw an ‘8% growth in smartphone visits this year…As smartphones become the media consumption device of choice, tablets, and desktop devices are paying the price. Overall, Media & Entertainment brands have seen a 20% year-over-year dip in tablet traffic and 14% dip in desktop traffic.’ according to CMO.

These stats show that mobile is king in the current market and content providers need to take this into consideration when planning their content strategies, all the way from their visuals to the type of content produced.

3. Why Podcasting is a Perfect Match

So, how can marketers use this information to their power? By acknowledging that no user is truly giving their undivided attention to media anymore, ‘99% of Gen Z and Millennials report multitasking while they watch. On average, they report four simultaneous additional activities, including text messaging, social media, and web browsing.’ RTI Research. The best way to reach these consumers? Audio content and more specifically podcasts. Podcasts offer a way to reach customers while they are cooking, cleaning, running or at the grocery store and moreover advertising flexibility. From Dynamic Ad Insertion, to branded podcasts and sponsorships – there is a way to reach niche and specific audiences in a way that works for businesses and when customers are most attentive, unlike visual adverts which ‘8 in 10 (80%) consumers’ report skipping online video ads when allowed’ Digital Content Next.

So there you have it, the digital landscape is rapidly changing in terms of how we consume our media, and brands need to act fast to make sure their content strategies continue to reach their desired audiences. As attention spans decrease, audio offers the perfect opportunity to speak directly to your consumer on a one-to-one level and will work with any device, from Amazon Alexa to the latest iPhone and whatever the future market has to throw at them.

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