NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — While we’ve been obsessed with the carnage in American media markets for the last couple of years, the global media landscape has mirrored the broader economic one — which is to say, developed nations are fragmenting while developing ones are booming. This is as true for TV and newspapers (newspapers!) as it is for online video and mobile phones, the latter of which is poised to become the most ubiquitous media device in history.
Ad Age Insights’ latest white paper, Global Media Habits 2010, by Greg Lindsay, is a look at how media are actually being consumed around the world, divorced from business considerations. Here, 10 trends that are shaping media consumption in traditional and emerging media markets.
1) Even relatively poor populations now consider TV a necessity.
In 2010, nearly half of Indian households have TV, up from less than one-third in 2001. But in urban areas, that figure jumps to 96%. (Compare that to 7% of Indians who use the internet.) In Kenya, the TV-penetration rate rose from roughly 60% to 70% from 2005 to 2009, even as the number of households measured increased by nearly half. Even in the slums of Sao Paulo, TVs are the top seller of Brazilian retail chain Casas Bahia, despite the fact that residents tend not to have electricity or running water.
2) Despite the internet, we’re watching more, not less.
The average American watched 280 minutes of TV each day in 2009, more than four-and-a-half-hours worth and a three-minute increase compared to the year before. A similar rise can be seen around the world, where the average human being watched three hours and 12 minutes worth of TV a day.
3) What is the world watching? Football, ‘American Idol’-like contests and telenovelas.
The 2010 FIFA World Cup was the most watched TV event in history, broadcast in every country (including North Korea) and garnering an average audience of 400 million viewers per match. More than one-third of Afghanistan tunes into “Afghan Star,” that country’s version of “American Idol.” And Brazil’s Globo network has broadcast locally produced soap operas since the 1970s, many of which reach 80 million viewers.
4) The U.S. and Western Europe are losing newspaper circulation, but the rest of the world is experiencing a newspapers boom.
In both number of titles and circulation, Asia, Africa and Latin America are climbing at an annual double-digit pace. And China and India are now home to nearly half the world’s top 100 dailies, with the average newspaper boasting a circulation of 109,000 or more. In India alone, the number of paid dailies has surged by 44%, to 2,700 titles since 2005, accounting for more than one-fifth of all newspaper titles on the planet.
5) Here’s why you need to keep an eye on Facebook.
When it comes to time spent on the site, Facebook crushes all rivals, with six hours vs. less than half that time for every other site in the top 10.
Facebook’s user base is 517 million people, 70% of whom live outside the U.S. According to a DDB study of 1,642 international Facebook users, the average self-avowed fan is 31 years old and follows nine brands. Three-quarters (76%) have already pressed “like” to signal they are a fan of a brand. In return, they expect special treatment (95%) and are willing to advocate for the brand if necessary (94%).
6) Cyber cafes are the entry for emerging market populations to get online.
The innovation of “cyber cafés” has helped spread internet use in emerging markets. In South Korea, people can rent broadband access for roughly 80 cents an hour, eliminating the need for costly monthly subscriptions, and leading to Koreans’ embrace of social networking and multiplayer online gaming. Cyber cafes or “warnets” have since spread to Indonesia, where only 5% of homes have a PC; and to Brazil, where the cafes are known as “LAN houses” and have hourly rates as low as $1.
7) BRIC leads for online video consumption.
Brazil, Russia, India, China and Indonesia are home to the most avid consumers of online video. Internet users in China and Indonesia, for example, were 26% more likely than the average user globally to watch online video, while Indian viewers were 21% more likely and both Russians and Brazilians were 11% more likely. Increasingly, the internet will become TV. In 2009, one third of all internet traffic was video. This year, that figure will climb to 40%, on its way to a projected 91% by 2014, according to Cisco.
Internet usage and penetration rates are hobbled by access costs. Mobile isn’t.
Only 81 million Indians (7% of the population) use the internet, but six times as many (507 million) have mobile phones. The same pattern is playing out worldwide. Witness PC vs. mobile penetration rates for China (20% vs. 57%); India (4% vs. 41%); Brazil (32% vs. 86%); and Indonesia (5% vs. 66%).
9) Netbooks, e-readers, tablets will drive growth of internet use.
The proliferation of new screens, netbooks, e-readers and tablets is expected to quadruple global IP traffic by 2014, according to Cisco. By then, the equivalent of 12 billion DVDs will be criss-crossing online monthly. The biggest growth driver is video — data-rich 3D and HD streams delivered to computers, TV sets and to phones, which will lead global mobile traffic to double every year for the foreseeable future.
10) For the foreseeable future, the forecast for the planet’s media habits is in a word, more.
Time spent with computers has tripled over the past decade among kids age 8 to 18. The bulk of this group’s time is spent on social media, followed by games, video sites and instant messaging. The average kid packs a total of 10 hours and 45 minutes worth of media content into a daily seven and a half hours of media exposure. Just think how this group will consume media in 10 years when they enter the work world and start consuming in earnest.