Time Spent with Media in France, Germany, and the UK 2021

Digital’s Influence Grows in the Post-Pandemic Reset

Executive Summary

During 2020, many media categories saw significant gains in time spent. But 2021 will mark the beginning of a reset, and by 2023, total media time will settle near pre-pandemic levels. Digital will account for a growing proportion, though.

How will total time spent with media change post-pandemic?

In 2020, total media time grew sharply in France, Germany, and the UK. But there will be declines across the board this year—by 14 minutes per day to 10 hours, 27 minutes (10:27) in France, by 16 minutes to 10:05 in Germany, and by 11 minutes to 10:26 in the UK. This was to be expected as society begins reopening.

What does the traditional versus digital media split look like across countries?

On the continent, traditional media still dominates in 2021, accounting for 56.6% of total media time in France and 57.6% in Germany. In the UK, the tables are turned, with digital accounting for a 55.9% share. In all three countries, though, digital’s share will increase through our forecast.

How have these shifts affected video viewing?

TV was one of the few traditional media categories to exhibit growth in time spent in 2020. There will be a reset this year across the three countries, as there will be for digital video, but through the later years of our forecast, digital will be the main growth engine for video time.

What other categories have contributed to changes in time spent?

Social media time increased significantly last year, but unlike other categories, there won’t be a subsequent dip this year, with numbers holding steady through 2023. Time spent with audio, meanwhile, didn’t have any discernible impacts on overall media time, though within the category, digital again will increase its share of the pie.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report features our latest forecasts for time spent with media in France, Germany, and the UK, broken down by traditional and digital consumption, and concentrating on post-pandemic realities.

KEY STAT: In France and Germany, traditional media (influenced by TV time) is dominant and will account for 5:55 and 5:48, respectively, in 2021. The pattern is flipped in the UK, where digital time will reach 5:50 this year.

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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Total Media Time Spent: The Dial Resets, Though Not for Digital
  3. TV vs. Digital Video: Digital Viewing Habits Take Root
  1. Social Media and Audio Exhibit Differing Trends
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

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Bill Fisher


Oscar Bruce Jr.
Senior Forecasting Analyst
Ethan Cramer-Flood
Forecasting Writer
Shelleen Shum
Senior Director, Forecasting
Debra Aho Williamson
Principal Analyst

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