Demand media: fragmentation and new screens transform the consumption of media in Spain
Media consumption in Spain has changed radically in recent years. Consumers are increasingly choosing the Internet over the TV; the popularity of mobile devices and social media encourages an increasingly fragmented and multiscreen consumption; all while visual and user-generated content is imposed, which is even incorporated by more traditional media.
These are the results of the study International Media Landscape Report, which analyses the media landscape of 24 countries in 5 continents. Canela PR did this study in collaboration with ECCO International PR Network, based on the comparison of the key indicators of media consumption in each country.
Spain remains at the average of the other markets analyzed, although it stands out in some categories, such as the greatest penetration of smartphones and of the social network Twitter. The low level of print and radio consumption compared to other countries also draws attention.
Data related to Spain is summarized in an infographic that can be displayed here
The Internet threatens to overthrow the TV
The TV remains the most popular mean of communication, with a daily consumption of 88.5% of the population. Nevertheless, the Internet is catching up quickly: 62.4% of Spaniards use it daily and it is the medium that dominates in some age groups. For example, Internet consumption among Spanish adolescents between 16 and 17 years old reaches 93.3% and exceeds the 82% of TV consumption in this same age group, according to the household panel of the Spanish National Commission of Markets and Competition.
Spain is at the average of the 24 countries in terms of TV penetration (close to 90%). However, in terms of radio consumption, it is one of the lowest in Europe. Only 60.4% of the population listens to the radio daily, compared to 91% in the UK or 81.2% in France.
Also notable for its low percentage is the data about written press: newspaper consumption in Spain is the scarcest of the 24 countries analyzed (29.1%). This means that barely 1 in 3 Spaniards reads the newspaper every day, compared to 49.9% in Germany or 40% in the UK. However, print magazines have a higher acceptance with 39.8% of the readers, a figure that brings us closer to the consumption in other countries such as France (49%).
An increasingly fragmented and multiscreen consumption
In just a few decades, Spain has gone from being a country with a small number of TV channels and press headers that enjoyed large audiences, to present a new and increasingly fragmented media landscape. This is mainly due to two reasons: the rise of mobile phones (which exceeds Internet penetration) and social media.
For example, while in countries like Germany Internet use in households is higher than in Spain (86.78% vs. 74.4%), our country has a higher percentage of users who own smartphones (58.8% vs. 81%). The mobile phone is the leading device to connect to the internet for 9 out of every 10 users and is increasingly common to use it to consume mass media: 53.5% of Internet users use their smartphones to read electronic newspapers.
Through the Internet, users have access to a much more varied range of media. Although there is no census of digital media in our country, the Spanish Association of Publishers of Periodicals estimates that there are around 3000 active digital publications on the Internet, without counting blogs. Add to that the fact that it is increasingly common to simultaneously consume media: for example, 72% of users surf the Internet while watching TV. The consumption of media in Spain is increasingly multiscreen and is becoming interactive.
The rise of social media has undoubtedly contributed to this fact. Facebook in most countries, however, in Spain, Twitter is the second social network we dedicate the most time to, something that differentiates us from the average of the 24 countries. In addition, the importance of social media based on visual content is highlighted, as Instagram and Youtube are the third and fourth most used social networks, something that doesn’t occur in the same way in most of the countries in the report.
More visual and user-generated content
The type of content being imposed in Spain is visual. This can be seen through the leadership of the TV and the success of Instagram and YouTube in Spain. Video is the fastest growing content: according to the Consumer Barometer of Google, 71% of Spanish Internet users watch online videos at least once a week, a figure that rises to 93% in the case of people under 35 years old. This explains why more and more non-visual media are incorporating online video content or online TV channels.
Often, this type of media encourages users to contribute by sending their own videos, audios and even creating personal blogs within their networks. An example of the growing importance of user-generated content were the attacks in Paris in 2015, which we saw mainly recorded by citizens with their phones, and not through images produced by the media. Nevertheless, these collaborations are not always properly recognized: 72% of the user-generated content is not credited as such by the media that broadcasts it.
User-generated content is also beginning to compete with professional media. More and more users are using social media to inform about events they have experienced, upload photos and videos of newsworthy events, etc. This content often goes viral and contributes to the increase the media fragmentation.