No surprises here: the pandemic has made consumers more attached to their screens than ever before. The coronavirus and its ensuing stay-at-home orders boosted consumption of media of all sorts, according to a global survey from PQ Media. Consumers spent an average of 53.1 hours per week in 2020 on media, an increase of 2.8% compared to 2019, and the fastest annual growth rate in five years. For comparison, consumer usage rose just 1.3% in 2019.
The 2020 media usage boost, however, was accompanied by a sharp pandemic-induced 6.8% fall in advertising and marketing spending—a 10-percentage-point differential, PQ Media notes. And the overall rise in consumption is not here to stay. “While the pandemic reversed some secular trends in 2020, we believe this was simply a short-term disruption of key long-term trends that will resume in 2021,” said PQ Media CEO Patrick Quinn in a statement. PQ Media says it projects global consumer media usage to rise by only 1.4% in 2021.