eMarketer Releases New Estimates for Time Spent with Media in China

As China's economy grows and the population becomes more urbanized, media consumption is rising.

"People in China are increasing the time they spend consuming media on a daily basis, thanks in large part to mobile devices, and multitasking while viewing TV and video," said Man-Chung Cheung, author of a new eMarketer report, "Time Spent With Media, Ad Spending and Trends in China: eMarketer's Estimates."

We forecast that adults in China will spend 6 hours, 23 minutes a day with major media this year, an 11-minute jump from 2017. Nearly half (47.1%) of media time, or 3 hours, will go to internet activities, representing a 19-minute uptick from 2017’s 2 hours, 41 minutes. (Internet time is expected to pass the 50% mark next year.)


Adults in China will spend nearly half of their daily media time, or 3 hours per day, on internet activities.

Source: eMarketer, April 2018

Mobile is expected to be at the center of internet usage. We estimate that over 70% of daily internet time in 2018 will be spent on mobile devices, vs. about 21% on desktops/laptops, and 9% on other nonmobile devices such as connected TVs. Mobile is expected to continue taking share away from other devices.

The report notes that blockbuster global events, such as the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and FIFA World Cup in Russia, attract large audiences to TV. "Still, we predict time spent on TV among adults in China will decline by 3 minutes this year, as part of the attention shift to digital," said Cheung.

But TV penetration will remain the highest of all media at 93.5% of the adult population in 2018, compared with 64.0% for internet. What’s more, Cheung noted, TV’s critical role in rural households and in seniors’ media habits will remain the same for the foreseeable future.