Consumers Spending Less Time With Media, According to New VSS Study

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By: E&P Staff People spent less time with media in 2006 compared to the previous year according to a new research from Veronis Suhler Stevenson. The last time media consumption dropped from year to year was in 1997.

According to study, media usage per person dipped 0.5% to 3,530 hours.

VSS attributes the decline to consumer migration to digital media for news, information, and entertainment, which require less time than traditional media. Consumers will spend as little as five to seven minutes watching a video clip online while they might take 30 minutes to watch TV.

Spending on internet advertising will reach $61.98 billion, and will surpass newspapers to become the nation's leading ad medium in 2011, according to the VSS 21st Communications Industry Forecast.

But the study also found that consumers are drifting away from advertising supported media, including newspapers, and moving towards "consumer-supported" platforms such as videogames and cable TV. Time spent with this type of media rose 19.8% in 2006 while the time spent with advertising-supported media decreased 6.3%.

"We are in the midst of a major shift in the media landscape that is being fueled by changes in technology, end-user behaviors and the response by brand marketers and communications companies," James Rutherfurd, executive vice president and managing director of VSS, said in a statement.

Those shifts are expected to continue over the next five years.

However, total communications spending grew 6.8% to a record $885.2 billion - a trend that is expected to continue.

Newspaper spending is forecasted to grow only slightly at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.3% during 2006-2011. In 2011, VSS anticipates newspaper spending will reach $71.3 billion. During 2001-2006, newspaper spending advanced at a CAGR of 1.8%.

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