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UK Media Spending is Down, Consumption is Up

UK consumers are spending less on traditional and digital media, compared with six months ago, but are consuming more -- according to the latest KPMG market study of over 1000 UK survey respondents.

Average spend per UK consumer on traditional media fell from £9.19 in September 2009 to £7.46 in March 2010 and spend on digital media also fell -- from £1.99 to £0.98.

However, time spent consuming media has increased. The average monthly consumption of traditional media rose marginally from 11 hrs 40 minutes in September 2009, to 12 hours 13 minutes. Hours spent consuming digital media increased even more, from 6 hours 14 minutes to 7 hours 28 minutes.

Spend reduced across the UK media industry as follows:

- 21 percent of newspaper readers paid nothing for these over the past month, compared with 15 percent six months ago.

- In London this almost doubled -- 23 percent to 41 percent -- highlighting the impact of the Evening Standard move to a 'free' model.

- The situation is similar for print magazines with 19 percent of consumers saying they had paid nothing over the past month compared with 12 percent six months ago.

- Of concern to those aiming to introduce pay walls for online newspapers, is the increasing majority of respondents who said they paid nothing for accessing online news portals - up from 84 percent in September 2009 to 88 percent in March 2010.

- Spend on video games was significantly down, possibly reflecting the release of popular titles last summer such as the Batman game Arkham Asylum and others.

Other key findings from the KPMG market study include:

- Only 10 percent of non-subscribers anticipate possibly becoming paid subscribers to media products over the coming 12 months.

- The use of social networking and blogging sites remains the most popular online activity -- 50 percent of all respondents partake, up from 47 percent on the last Barometer. Interestingly the increase among 45-54 year olds was the greatest, increasing from 37 percent to 45 percent.

- The survey found that those aged 16-24 are more likely to pay for online content than their older counterparts.

- People who said they would definitely or possibly become a paid subscriber over the coming 12 months were most commonly prepared to pay for music (55 percent) and film (45 percent). They were less prepared to pay for TV (30 percent) and online newspapers/magazines (31 percent).

- The survey found a noticeable increase in the use of Video On Demand (VOD) services for TV programs, up from 19 percent of all respondents in September 2009 to 24 percent in March 2010.

- More than a quarter (27 percent) of respondents had viewed a 3D film at the cinema during the past 12 months. Despite fairly high levels of 3D viewing, relatively few indicated they were likely to buy a 3D TV next time they purchase a television set (15 percent).

- Digital book consumption remained stable, but low, with 4 percent of respondents having read one in the last month.

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