Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve spent the last decade or so steadily cutting back on my media consumption.
After all, I’ve had to find time for surfing the web, playing video games, loading – and listening to – my iPod, and of course, to spend hours seeing “what else is on” while scanning the EPG on the TV.
As a result, I only actually buy a magazine (as opposed to reading those published by my clients) maybe 2 or 3 times a year. I only buy one newspaper each week, and it’s not on a Sunday, because it’s just too big to read. My routine is to get my quality broadsheet on a Saturday (no names…), and even then it takes all of the following week for me to finish reading it, with all its bulging content, fascinating features, and specialist supplements.
Now, and relatively suddenly, two things have happened.
First, BARB has announced that apparently we are now “watching” more TV than ever before – up to a mind-boggling average of over 28 hours per week, each. That is a lot of screentime, even if you regard this kind of research (especially broadcast) as inherently dubious. Where are we finding the time to do this ?
The second point I think is far more signficant. Although I only “buy” one newspaper each week, I’ve recently realised (slow I am…) that I probably read more news journalism than I have ever done in my entire life. Of course, I am talking about their websites.
I regularly visit Ozzie news sites to check on events and dramas back home; I also check out the Telegraph for the latest MP scandal, The SUN for the low-down on what the nation really cares about, and finally there’s the BBC, to make sure everything else I have read has actually happened. Plus a whole host of content-rich special interest sites which I won’t bore you with now…
Of course most of this is absolutely free content, but it is an important new habit for me to have developed, and one that – in time – could fairly easily generate revenues for the media owners concerned (* I already pay for the BBC of course). The point I guess I’m making is that I would miss it terribly if it all disappeared, even if it was just to hide behind a paywall.
So I would be prepared to pay for the content that I value, no question.
What about you? If you add it all up, are you consuming more, or less media, than before?