In the UK, consumers are spending more time with digital and traditional media. According to the second KPMG Media and Entertainment Barometer, the average monthly consumption of traditional media climbed from 11 hours and 40 minutes per month in September 2009 to 12 hours and 13 minutes in March 2010. For digital media, the increase was more dramatic. Consumption of digital media rose from 6 hours 14 minutes to 7 hours 28 minutes per month. At the same time, however, consumers now spend less on digital and traditional media. Even though more newspapers are putting their content behind pay walls, the number of consumers who paid nothing for accessing online news actually increased over the last few months.

People Spend More Time with Digital Media…

With regards to new media, a growing number of consumers now spend time on social media and blogging sites (up from 47% in September 2009 to 50% in March 2010) and watch TV online (up from 19% to 24%). KPMG also found that younger Internet users in the UK between 16 and 24 are more likely to engage with new media. Those Internet users who use social media and play online games also tend to spend more time online than others.

… But Pay Less

More Statistics from the KPMG Report

  • The number of people who don’t pay for print journals and magazines is also up (19% compared to 12% six months ago)
  • 21% of print newspaper readers paid nothing in March 2010 (most likely due to the availability of free newspapers like the Evening Standard in cities like London)
  • People in the UK spent an average of 29 hours in front of their TV last month.
  • Men are more likely than women to engage in new media activities (83% vs. 75%)

When it comes to paying for online content, most consumers in the UK continue to pay nothing (88%), though publishers will be happy to hear that younger Internet users between 16 to 24 are slightly more likely to pay for online content than older users. Today, only 3% of Internet users in the UK pay for an online subscription to digital content and about 7% pay for digital content.

The number of Internet users in the UK who paid nothing for digital content actually increased slightly over the last six months. Only about 10% of these users who are currently paying nothing for content indicated that they would be likely to buy a paid subscription to online content in the next 12 months. This, according to KPMG’s analysts indicates, that the market for paid subscriptions is “unlikely to grow greatly over the coming 12 months.” KPMG also found that the average spend on digital media in the UK fell from £1.99 in September 2009 to £0.98 in March 2010.

Some People Simply Prefer Traditional Media

This doesn’t mean that all consumers prefer to access media content online, however. Only about a quarter of respondents preferred online media over traditional media. Most of these users (89%) cited a preference for “reading something physical” over reading on a computer. About 60% of respondents also noted that they simply prefer the experience of traditional media over consuming digital content.