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Digital Nears Tipping Point for Daily Media Time in Western Europe

France and Germany to mark new consumption milestones this year, eMarketer predicts

June 26, 2017

This year, eMarketer expects digital will draw the largest share of adults’ time spent with media in France and Germany for the first time. And in the UK, digital will come close to attracting a majority share of total media use.

Propelled by mobile device use, time spent with digital media among adults is steadily escalating in Western Europe’s three largest countries, according to eMarketer’s June 2017 report, “Time Spent with Media in France, Germany and the UK: eMarketer’s Updated Estimates and Forecast for 2014–2019” [available only to eMarketer PRO subscribers. Nonsubscribers can purchase the report here].

This year, adults in France will spend an average of 10 hours 15 minutes per day with major media—digital, TV, radio and print—while adults in Germany will average 10 hours 3 minutes and those in the UK will tally an average of 9 hours 25 minutes.

By eMarketer’s methodology, each minute of specific media consumption counts toward the daily total regardless of whether it occurs simultaneously with use of other media. Because of this, an hour spent watching TV while concurrently using a smartphone counts as an hour of usage for each medium, and as 2 hours of overall media time.

Because that type of multitasking is now common, smartphones and other digital media are responsible for an ever-growing share of adults’ daily media consumption in Western Europe. In fact, time spent with digital media (desktop/laptop plus nonvoice mobile) will overtake time spent watching nondigital TV for the first time in both France and Germany this year, eMarketer predicts.

Share of Time Spent per Day with Major Media by Adults in France, Germany and the UK*, 2017 (% of total)

In 2017, digital will be responsible for nearly half (49.0%) of UK adults’ daily time with major media, eMarketer expects, while time spent with traditional TV drops to less than a third of the total.

Increasing nonvoice mobile media time is driving much of digital’s overall rise this year.

For the first time in 2017, mobile device internet time will overtake desktop/laptop internet time in France. Users there will spend an average of 12 minutes more per day going online via mobile devices than on desktops and laptops, eMarketer predicts.

In Germany, that switch has already occurred. But overall nonvoice mobile device time is expected to expand its lead over desktop/laptop-based digital media consumption to 46 minutes per day in 2017.

In the UK, adults will spend a total of 2 hours and 32 minutes per day conducting nonvoice mobile activities, an increase of 11 minutes vs. last year and 27 minutes more than time spent with desktop/laptop.

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