Digital Media Consumption Much More Highly Concentrated Among Heavy Users Than Traditional Media

August 19, 2016

Nielsen-Concentration-US-Media-Consumption-Aug2016There’s a reason they call it mass media: it has broad appeal. And data highlighted by Nielsen in a recent article indeed shows that traditional media consumption is much less concentrated among the top 20% of users than digital media usage. That’s to be expected, given that there are more users of traditional media overall.

Nevertheless, this does have an impact on campaign planning, Nielsen argues. For example, in TV and radio, where the top quintile of users contribute 52% and 48% of total minutes, respectively, an ad campaign is likely to reach a high percentage of individual consumers overall. But for digital media usage such as PC streaming, where the top quintile contributes 87% of all minutes, an ad is less likely to reach a broad swathe of the total audience.

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Overall, the results – which cover Q1 2016 activity in the US – demonstrate that the top 20% of users contribute the following share of total usage for each of the following media:

  • Smartphone video: 83%;
  • Streaming on a PC (in-home): 87%;
  • Internet on a PC (in-home): 76%;
  • TV-connected devices (DVD, video game, multimedia device): 71%;
  • TV (including DVR): 52%; and
  • AM/FM radio: 48%.

Perhaps it’s no surprise then that ads on TV and radio tend to reach a broader adult audience than digital ads. In our recent study, Advertising Channels With the Largest Influence on Consumers, we found that US adults feel more likely to be exposed to multiple ads on TV and on the radio than via any other platform, including social media, smartphones, and online video. Radio ads did not fare as well in stated purchase influence, though, falling behind print and social, with TV in the lead.

The full study can be purchased here.

For readers interested in the demographic makeup of major media audiences, please see our US Media Audience Demographics study.

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