Social Media Video Now Consumes As Much Time As Traditional Television

A new study conducted by the Consumer Technology Association, which will be released in conjunction with the annual CES industry event, has found that US consumers now spend almost as much time streaming videos on social platforms as they do watch traditional TV, highlighting the growing influence of online content in broader media consumption.


According to Variety, the study, which includes responses from over 2,000 people, finds that user-generated content on social media platforms now accounts for 39% of weekly media hours spent by Americans, compared to 61% for traditional media. The breakdown is shown in this table, with traditional TV consumption accounting for 18% of total media consumption time vs 16% for user-generated content online.


This trend is considerably more pronounced among younger consumers, as one might assume. Teenagers aged 13 to 17 spend 56 percent of their media time on user-generated material, compared to only 22 percent for those aged 55 and up.


The data demonstrates how traditional media is giving way to more democratized social media platforms as the primary source of information consumption. This is crucial to remember for marketers, yet it's also worth noting that traditional TV and subscription-based video still account for the majority of media consumption time.


While there is undeniable value in user-generated material, as well as considerable benefits for exposure and audience building in social apps, there is also a place for editorially-defined content. While VOD services appear to be the death knell for traditional TV, despite younger consumers aligning with individual creators rather than channels or shows, moderation and publishing control continue to play a key role in separating the wheat from the chaff and amplifying content to larger audiences.


Of course, that has altered over the last decade, but it's worth noting that editorially controlled content continues to play a key role in the broader media environment. Younger customers are significantly more associated with particular producers they discover and subscribe to, which is an important everyday consumption trend to keep in mind. However, in terms of where you should invest your media money right now, these old (for lack of a better description) formats can still deliver good results.

To put it another way, don't put all your eggs in one content basket, but be mindful of current consumption habits, which are expected to be shaken up again over the next decade when a new crop of metaverse-native artists takes center stage. According to the CTA report, around 20 million producers in the United States monetize their material in some form online, with the average monthly income for online creators resting at $768.


Creators receive 28 percent of their revenue through products or fan experiences, 27 percent from content subscriptions, 27 percent from a la carte content payments, 16 percent from gratuities, and 2% from other sources.


While platforms are attempting to expand creator monetization options to retain top talent and keep audiences coming back for more, merch and subscriptions continue to be the most lucrative, with tips trailing far behind. That's understandable. Even if people admire and even love specific creators, they are unlikely to pay for something that can be obtained for free. For creators, this involves focusing on your additional value proposition to increase your revenue streams, as well as generating products and/or services that you can offer in addition to your regular material.


It's an intriguing assessment of the present state of the media landscape, as well as the developments that have significantly altered how media distribution operates. Given this, you should vary your brand messaging in 2022 if you want to maximize your brand messaging since popular UGC in your niche is now a vital conduit for many brands to reach the correct audience.


This could be even more effective than television commercials, which have long been regarded as the gold standard for ad placement. In many ways, television advertisements will still increase brand awareness, but depending on your target audience, there may be better, more valuable methods to engage.

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