KPMG reports that that consumers are "spending less on traditional and digital media than six months ago, but consuming more." The six-monthly KPMG Media and Entertainment Barometer released yesterday shows that average spend per UK consumer on traditional media fell from "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, media consumption increased. The average monthly consumption of traditional media rose marginally from 11 hrs 40 minutes in September 09, to 12 hours 13 minutes. Hours spent consuming digital media increased 17 per cent, from 6 hours 14 minutes to 7 hours 28 minutes, confirming the importance of online and digital channels in communications campaigns.
Of concern to media executives though is that 21 per cent of newspaper readers paid nothing for news 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. And today we hear on BBC Development Manager Stephen Martin's Twitter feed that "free copies of The Independent out on the streets of London via the Standard distributors". This was followed by by other people commenting that said newspaper was also being distributed for free in Brighton.
With the increasing majority of respondents saying that they'd paid nothing for accessing online news portals - up from 84 percent in September 2009 to 88 percent in March 2010, the belief that news should be free appears to be absolute and will be challenge for executives pushing the 'paywall' model. Of course The Times is rolling out its paywall for The Times and Sunday Times in June and we wait to see if this is a success.
Looking at the figures though we should note that those aged 16-24 are more likely to pay for online content than their older counterparts, who are themselves spending more time on social networking/blogging sites - increasing from 37 to 45 per cent.