eMarketer co-founder Geoff Ramsey, backed by his busy staff of industry researchers, shared more than 60 slides and nearly 150 sources of media-consumption insight on INMA World Congress of News Media attendees immediately after breakfast Friday.
It might have generated a little stomach upset for some, especially anyone with vested interests in advertising models.
The numbers documented increased use of ad-blockers and the ascendency of ad-free streaming video services. Not even considering the decline in print newspapers — which hardly factored at all in Ramsey’s media-use analysis — the space available for ad presentations of any kind appears to be contracting.
“Certainly in my living room, my kids’ attention is fragmented across many different devices,” Ramsey said. “And while I don’t know where that content is actually coming from, what I do know or probably know is that there are going to be no ads. And that is a real worry for advertisers.”
In the United States, he said, the number of non-pay TV subscribers continues to grow.
“We predict that by this time next year, about a third of the entire American population will not be paying to watch TV,” the eMarketer content chief said. “Once again, ads may well be out of the picture. Ads will still exist. It will just be a different kind of universe.”
One of Ramsey’s quoted analysts advised that “the best way for the industry to tackle this problem is to deliver compelling ad experiences that consumers won’t want to block.”
Overall, most of the avalanche of statistics confirmed trends generally known to the 500 publishing executives in the audience from nearly 40 countries. For instance:
- People in the United States consume 12 hours 9 minutes of media every day, although that time is compressed into a smaller total time frame by multitasking.
- Digital devices make up more than half of that media use.
- Mobile is more than a quarter of the total all by itself and, and for the first time ever, surpasses TV.
- TV occupies about a quarter of the total time on media daily.
- That mobile-more-than-TV trend is the same in the United Kingdom, China, and Canada, with TV expected to be eclipsed in most other tech-advanced countries over the coming one to two years.
- On mobile, nearly 80% of time use is spent in apps, with the other 20% on mobile Web.
- Social media consumes 52 minutes daily in the United States, more in China and the United Kingdom, less in other countries.
- Digital video is the focus of just over an hour of total media use time per day, with most of that streaming to mobile devices.
- Almost a quarter of Americans block ads, a rate that is higher in many other countries and that nearly doubles among younger generations.
- While trust in traditional and digital news sources and search engines ranges between 55% and 65%, social media’s trust level has plunged below the halfway mark to 43%.
Trends in digital advertising were similarly confirmed by the data.
“The global average among firms is to place 35% of media dollars into digital channels,” Ramsey said. “The U.S. and Canada are slightly ahead of the global average, and the U.K. and China are way ahead. But Germany, along with France and other countries, is well behind, at only 29%. We see the same trend with investments in mobile, social, and video marketing dollars.”
He called growth in digital media ad spending “phenomenal” — almost 18% globally — and warned the INMA crowd to keep an eye on Amazon in this competition.
“On a worldwide basis, marketers spend US$333 billion on digital advertising,” Ramsey said. “Can you guess where that money goes? I bet it’s no big surprise to you. It’s going to Google, Facebook, Alibaba. They account for 60% of it combined. Watch out for Amazon. It has US$11.3 billion ad revenue, and they have a ton of transactional data. Retailers are now becoming media companies, so that’s new competition.”
Growth in digital ad spending with print media is not keeping up — coming in at only 2.1% and 2.3% for magazines and newspapers, respectively.
Looking ahead, Ramsey identified Artificial Intelligence as the go-to trend that will be driving most every aspect to finding, getting close to, and interacting with consumers.
“The idea is that AI will begin to permeate every single aspect of our personal and business lives because it’s capable of crunching and parsing massive amounts of data from unlimited sources,” Ramsey said. “This is a profound change, and it will be a bigger one than the Internet itself.”
Yet most marketers and media companies are not really keeping up on AI development. Only 40% to 50% of marketers say they are thinking about it, and most have no implementation plans. Across industries, 43% of professionals worldwide admit to lacking a clear strategy.
“Tech companies will eat your lunch because they are already there,” Ramsey said.
Beyond AI, Ramsey cited voice systems and Augmented Reality (AR) as other looming challenges — as if news publishers need more on their plates.
“We will, as an industry, get this sorted out,” he promised in closing. “I can’t tell you when or how. But it will be fixed.”