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“Growth has persisted”: Continued increase in digital content consumption indicates potential for greater ad revenues

“The accelerated growth in digital consumption continues to open up new advertising avenues and new audiences.”

The digital habits people worldwide picked during the pandemic have persisted. A new report shares how the continued rise in the use of digital content creates ongoing opportunities for publishers. 

“Global digital content consumption continues to soar,”—55% of people report spending more time each day consuming content now than they did pre-pandemic, according to a new report by data and analytics platform, DoubleVerify. Further, two of three (66%) say they intend to continue pursuing online hobbies they began during the pandemic. 

Source: Four Fundamental Shifts in Advertising and Media

These findings are based on insights from over 16,600 consumers across 18 countries, in nine regions. The report, Four Fundamental Shifts in Advertising and Media, digs into the biggest challenges global advertising and media sectors face. It shares data and insights that will help them stay relevant and deliver results as the industry evolves rapidly.

Digital habits picked up during the pandemic weren’t transient phenomena; they’re now part of consumers’ daily lives.

Four Fundamental Shifts in Advertising and Media Report

“The motivation for consuming content”

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of the respondents who are 65+ have pointed towards inflation as a factor driving increased digital content consumption, compared to 32% of the 18-24-year-olds. Overall, 45% of the respondents say they are spending more time online as they are not going out much because of rising costs. However, 39% point towards better content quality as a reason for increased digital content consumption. 

“The motivation for consuming content varies significantly by age,” the report states. “Younger consumers are the most likely to prioritize entertainment, while older consumers see content as a way to stay informed about current affairs.”

Source: Four Fundamental Shifts in Advertising and Media

While CTV and streaming lead digital content consumption, social media usage continues to grow. Overall, 27% of consumers expect to spend more time on social media over the next year, peaking at 41% among 18-24-year-olds, according to the report. 

“Social’s continued momentum doubles down on the findings of our last report,” notes Marissa McCardle, SVP, Social and Programmatic, DoubleVerify, “where 48% of all consumers had increased time spent on social media during the pandemic—suggesting that growth has persisted.”

“Vital to seizing that opportunity”

However, “brands must address attention fragmentation — or risk losing consumers,” the report cautions. Although emerging platforms offer new opportunities, most consumers believe they see between 1 to 50 ads every day. YouTube leads as the platform where an ad is most likely to grab consumer attention followed by Facebook and Instagram. 

Source: Four Fundamental Shifts in Advertising and Media

Newer platforms continue to attract consumer time and engagement with TikTok exhibiting rapid growth. 43% of 18-24 year-olds say they expect to spend more time in the app over the next 12 months. 

“No single strategy or platform offers a fool-proof route to reaching consumers everywhere,” the authors note. “Instead, brands must stay on top of trends and be agile as they adapt to new platforms and technologies.” 

One thing is clear: brands must be savvy in the fight for attention. They need to keep iterating and adjusting the strategies, channels, and platforms they use based on local nuances.

Julie Eddleman, Chief Commercial Officer at DoubleVerify

While there is no dearth of advertising opportunities across proprietary platforms, the research emphasizes the need to align ads with relevant content, on relevant platforms. It will be “vital to seizing that opportunity, reaching the right audiences, and securing consumer attention.”

“Digital content plays a vital role in the buying cycle”

Online shopping continues to grow as well with 54% reporting that they are shopping online more now than they did pre-pandemic. Even older people (65+) who are used to shopping in physical stores say they are buying more items online now. 

Source: Four Fundamental Shifts in Advertising and Media

“Digital content plays a vital role in the buying cycle,” the report states referring to shoppers’ growing habit of researching purchases online. Nearly two-thirds (64%) say they spend more time online researching brands when making an important purchase.

More time spent researching by consumers means more opportunities for brands to reach these audiences. 

Four Fundamental Shifts in Advertising and Media Report
Source: Four Fundamental Shifts in Advertising and Media

67% of consumers say they are more likely to pay attention to an ad if it’s relevant to the content they are consuming. This presents publishers with opportunities to generate revenue through product recommendations and reviews, as well as ads. 

“There is a clear opportunity”

The majority (68%) also report being concerned about increasing mis- and disinformation. 69% say they have a positive view of brands that actively fight against this growing problem. 67% think that platforms should be responsible for tackling this menace while 66% believe it’s the publishers’ responsibility. The last edition of the report mentioned that 67% of people were more likely to engage with an ad on the website of a publisher they knew and trusted. 

These findings indicate growing opportunities for publishers to generate ad revenues. “With the post-cookie era fast approaching, this research emphasizes the need for brands to invest in privacy-safe contextual targeting,” says Jack Smith, Chief Product Officer, DoubleVerify “Brands can use contextual targeting to grab consumer attention by placing ads alongside relevant content at crucial moments in the buying cycle.”

There is a clear opportunity. The accelerated growth in digital consumption continues to open up new advertising avenues and new audiences.

Julie Eddleman, Chief Commercial Officer, DoubleVerify

The full report can be downloaded here:
Four Fundamental Shifts in Advertising and Media