Consumers today have access to an entire universe of content at their fingertips. Yet while the media landscape expands, the type of content consumers are spending time with has remained fairly consistent. Ad-supported content remains the medium that consumers gravitate toward the majority of the time in their viewing habits.
According to Nielsen data, the share of time spent with ad-supported content on platforms (such as TV, radio, smartphones, video games and tablets) for adults in 2017 was 86%—a number that’s remained relatively flat over the past decade. In 2002, when avenues of consumption were mainly via television and radio, ad-supported content accounted for an 89% share of consumers’ time spent.
These statistics have even more significance when considering the availability of different devices over time and the ultimately substantial growth in time spent with media overall. Engagement with ad-supported content has kept pace while more and more devices have been introduced into the media ecosystem.
Engagement with ad-supported content has remained strong despite such high adoption rates for so many devices, in part because consumers’ time with media hasn’t remained a finite resource. In fact, the amount of time consumers are allocating toward media is expanding, increasing by more than 25 hours between 2002 and 2017. Time spent with ad-supported content has grown and maintained a consistent ratio with overall time spent.