- Consumers in urban China, Brazil and Singapore lead in consuming digital media and the willingness to pay for it
- UK smartphone and tablet ownership lower than in emerging economies
- Digital and traditional media have a complementary co-existence in the media mix; with consumers still spending more money on traditional media
- Tech and media companies should collaborate on breakthrough revenue models that will win over the information-hungry digital consumer
Consumers worldwide are embracing myriad new ways to consume digital media content, while appetite for media in its traditional forms seems as robust as ever. With smartphones and tablets becoming ever more popular across the globe and technology companies enabling a wealth of new content, consumers worldwide want more media experiences, on more devices which means consumers are becoming ‘digital multi-taskers’, a global KPMG survey claims.
KPMG’s Digital Debate Report surveyed more than 9,000 consumers across North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America to understand how consumers are allocating their time and budgets to media in all forms.
The phenomenon of the ‘digital multi-tasker’ is most prevalent in China where 60% of consumers say they watch TV at the same time as accessing the internet. The British are also fans of multi-tasking according to the survey. 45% of UK consumers say they watch TV while accessing the internet at the same time, 39% watch TV while reading newspapers and 27% watch TV while also using social networking sites.
David Elms, KPMG UK Head of Media comments: “In emerging, high-growth markets such as China, people are not encumbered with the legacy of PCs and have leap-frogged straight onto portable devices. This creates an amazing set of opportunities for tech and media companies many of which are struggling to devise models that are profitable and which truly sate consumers’ vast needs for information.”
Consumers in the emerging economies and particularly China are leading the way when it comes to adopting new technologies and forms of media. It is in these countries where a new class of ‘mobile-centric consumers’ is emerging: those whose entire online media experience is delivered via mobile devices and mobile networks.
According to the report, China boasts the highest rate of smartphone and tablet ownership, followed by Singapore. (78% of Chinese own a smartphone, 51% tablet; in Singapore 73% of consumers own a smartphone, 41% a tablet). Ownership rates for the North America and Europe are lower; in the UK for example 28% of consumers own a tablet and 57% a smartphone.
While China, Brazil and Singapore lead in their willingness to pay generally for online content, consumers in North America and Europe show a higher willingness to only pay for access to certain content, such as dating sites and books and less on news, music and games, for example. Chinese consumers are willing to pay for travel, photography and games.
David Elms comments: “A number of content owners are trying to repeat the traditional revenue models online, aiming to reverse the trend of getting information for free. Consumers are only prepared to pay for content if it is perceived to have value, at the right price, in the right format and accessible on the right device.
“Consumers in developed markets have become used to receiving content for free, and many have yet to experience or understand the value that tailored, relevant content can bring to their media experiences. By understanding consumers’ on and offline media consumption, content providers can develop a business model that appeals to even the most skeptical consumer. They need to delve into understanding their content and their customers much more intimately and then, marry the two “
The majority of Chinese also said they prefer to watch TV on their tablets (60%). In every other country a significant majority still prefers to watch TV on a traditional set. In the UK only 6% of consumers say they prefer watching TV on a tablet.
Consumers in the emerging economies are also more open to online advertising, 72% of Chinese and 56% of Brazilians for example say they are willing to receive advertising on their mobile devices in exchange for lower prices or free content and services. UK consumers on the other hand seem to be among the most averse when it comes to mobile advertising, only 24% say are willing to receive such adverts.
Other key findings:
- Consumers split their time between traditional and digital media, but spend more money on traditional media. With only a few exceptions, consumers in every geography report that they spend more hours each month with an online form of media than they do with the same media in a traditional or offline form. While there is more divergence across media types and regions, in general consumers report that more of their monthly media spend remains devoted to traditional forms — especially for video and live events — than to digital forms.
- Far more consumers say their spending for online media increased in the past year than say it decreased. Across every type of digital media, more consumers reported that their spend on that media increased in the past year than said it had decreased. In contrast, consumers were more likely to say they had spent less over the same period of time in certain areas of traditional media — such as packaged forms like CDs, DVDs, and video games.
- Traditional advertising may be diluted. TV viewing is no longer a single experience as ‘digital multi-taskers’ interact with tablets and smartphones while simultaneously watching TV. The opportunity is for media companies to tap into these ‘second and third’ screens through social media such as Facebook and Twitter and build the overall experience and effectiveness of advertising. At the current time, however, the integration is only partial, and consumers’ attention is being diverted away from the ads.
- Preference for online media is much stronger among the emerging mobile-centric class. Consumers’ increasing allocation of time to online forms of media is well known. Yet the emerging wave of mobile-centric consumers — as indicators of the consumers who will first connect to online media via their mobile devices — evince preferences for digital content far outstripping those of today’s online consumers.
- Tablet penetration is already half that of smartphones, but tablets accompany other devices. Barely two and a half years after the launch of the iPad, more than one in four respondents said that they own a tablet while more than half of respondents own a smartphone. But it is laptop and smartphone owners who form the initial wave of tablet buyers — the vast majority of tablet owners also own one or both of these devices.
Note to editors:
To understand how consumers are allocating their time and budgets to media in all its forms, KPMG International undertook a global survey of more than 9,000 consumers across North America (US, Canada), Europe (Germany, Spain, United Kingdom), Asia Pacific (Australia, metropolitan China, and Singapore), and Latin America (metropolitan Brazil). Metropolitan China has an estimated population of 426 million and metropolitan Brazil 50 million. In each market, around 1,000 adults (aged 16+) were interviewed, with the exception of the US, where the interviewees were all 18+. The consumers were chosen evenly across age, sex and social class.
Katrin Boettger, Senior PR Manager
Tel: +44 207 896 4232 / 0782 4475168
KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with over 12,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.8 billion in the year ended September 2012. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 156 countries and have 152,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. KPMG International provides no client services.