Global media consumption surged 2.7% in 2022

By AdNews | 11 April 2023

Global consumer media usage, via digital and traditional media channels, grew 2.7% to an average of 55.81 hours a week in 2022, according to PQ Media, a global provider of media econometrics..

This followed a deceleration in time spent with media growth to 1.7% in 2021, which came after the fastest increase in media consumption in 15 years in 2020 with a pandemic-fueled surge of 3.3%.

“As early as 2018, we began to see trends emerging that portended a looming saturation point, at which time the device purchase, data plan fees, content usage trends, longer ugrade cycles, etc., baked into our forecasts for several years were now coalescing into strong secular shift," says PQ Media CEO Patrick Quinn.

"Our econometric intelligence is currently indicating market conditions, growth opportunities and headwinds, key economic variables, among other data, we’re now very close to what PQ Media projected three years ago.

"Among the anchors slowing down media consumption is a drop in digital device shipments, leading to mobile media consumption rising at a mere single-digit rate in 2023 – the first time this has ever happened."

Consumer media usage grew at a faster pace in 2022, fueled by original content releases, international sporting events and federal elections in several of the top 20 global media markets.

Among sporting events: FIFA World Cup coverage from Qatar (almost 3.5 billion viewers in 2022); the Winter Olympics from China; and hockey’s World Championships in Finland.

The US also featured a number of federal elections late in the year, according to PQ Media’s 10th annual Global Consumer Media Usage Forecast 2023-2027.

The accelerated gain in 2022 was higher than anticipated and more in line with pre-pandemic levels for an even year. In some major markets, such as China, COVID restrictions had to be tightened due to sporadic breakouts that required some consumers to stay home again.

Select media also exhibited a slowdown in use in the second half of 2022 as the global and US economies lost momentum due to myriad macroeconomic challenges, including high ination, continuing inventory and supply chain issues, energy supply shortages, increased interest rates and the emergence of recession fears.

This led middle and lower-income consumers to cut discretionary spending on media and entertainment, from books to streaming media and other digital devices and related content.

Among the trends and drivers that emerged during this year’s analysis is that media usage is reverting back to pre-pandemic trends that included a benchmark point when traditional and digital device penetration would reach saturation.

That was interrupted by pandemic lockdown measures that shook up the global media economy in 2020 in such a way that secular trends driving down media usage growth in key segments were reversed, as executives built their home oces and students were not able to socialize with friends outside the home.

With the advent of vaccines being administered, many executives have returned to their corporate oces and students to their classroom buildings, that includes extra-curricular activities. As such, in most mature markets, such as the US, Germany and Japan, will register declining media usage in odd years when there are only a handful of international sporting events and political campaigns to drive media consumption.


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