5 Must Know Media Consumption Trends
'Tablet computers are now as likely to be found in the hands of over 55s as they are among the under 24s.'That's just one of the findings from the 6th annual 'State of the Media Democracy Survey', released by Deloitte this week.The survey, which is as eagerly awaited in the Cream offices as the annual Ofcom Communications Report in August, is packed full of useful facts for marketers trying to pin down stats such as the level of smartphone adoption or the usage of tablet computers in the UK.The survey is conducted each December (in this case December 2011) with a sample of just over 2000 respondents. We've shared the most interesting of Deloitte's findings with you below:1. There are nearly 3m tablet owners in the UK, up from 1.3m in December 2010 - this would equate to c6% of the UK adult population. As stated above, tablet adoption breaks the tradition that technology is first adopted by the young and then filters through to older age groups. Perhaps the price point is a barrier in this case. Whatever the reason, tablet adoption is pretty evenly spread amongst age cohorts, with the 35-44 age groups showing the highest penetration at c20% - professionals at their earning peak, the same group that has most enthusiastically adopted Twitter.2. Smartphone adoption is nearing 50% - smartphone adoption rates differ from survey to survey, mainly dependent on whether the survey uses a consumer definition of a smartphone (as Deloitte do) or an industry one. Here, the norm that the young are the early adopters is borne out by the figures - 60%+ of 14-34 year olds own one, compared to 58% of 35-44s, over 40% of 45-54s but less than 30% of 55+s. For both tablets and smartphones, men are more likely than women to own one, although women have caught up in the past 12 months and the figures are now fairly even.In terms of how smartphones are being used in the purchase process, the Deloitte survey does shed a little light. 17% of the respondents had used their phone to 'comparison shop' whilst in-store and 18% had read product reviews, with both activities being regular (at least weekly) behaviours for those that had adopted them.3. For magazines at least, print still has a future - despite rising tablet ownership, magazine readers overwhelmingly prefer print, and this preference has been unwavering in the past 12 months. Perhaps surprisingly, given how many tablets that have been sold in the past 12 months, online magazine subscribers were flat at 2% of respondents. 88% of the survey still prefered to read their magazine content in printed hard copy, the same proportion as in 2010. There are many reasons behind the decline in print magazine circulations, but migration to mobile device versions doesn't seem to be one of them.4. Despite the growth of alternative media sources, broadcast TV remains consumers favourite type of media - and this was observed across all age cohorts, including the 18-24s. It would appear our attachment to the TV is enduring. However, our methods of consuming broadcast TV are changing with 12.5% less live viewing in 2011 vs 2010, mainly driven by an increase in consumption via PVRs. And the number one reason to record live TV? To fast forward through the commercials.5. Traditional media channels still remain highly influential - 64% said they visited websites as a result of seeing them on TV, an action which was as common for 14-17 year olds as for 45-54 year olds. Magazine and newspaper ads were almost as influential (c60%) and more so than ads seen on other websites (c50%) and ads on social media (less than 30%). However, the gaps between digital and traditional media were narrow and the 2 most influential media in terms of driving traffic to websites were search and online recommendations - the latter mainly driven by online reviews rather than social media.In fact, online reviews seemed to be becoming even more influential, with 30% more stating they'd made online recommendations in 2011 vs 2010, with the sharpest growth in online recommendations amongst the 55+s. The survey paints of picture of UK consumers being passionate adopters of new technology - more in line with their US counterparts rather than their European cousins - but using this media to complement their existing media choices and consume more media, rather than cannibalising their existing activities.For marketers, the lessons are that they need to reflect changing trends in their marketing strategies - such as the increasing use of smartphones to support the in-store experience. However, despite the inexorable rise of digital media, UK consumers still remain attached to traditional channels too, and these traditional channels still have a role to play in the marketing mix.