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U.K. media consumption rises

Average spend on digital media falls from $3 to $1.49

LONDON — The dilemma for media owners grappling to make sense of the digital age is encapsulated in a U.K. survey that shows that despite increased media use consumers increasingly expect free access to media.

A survey conducted for the KPMG Media and Entertainment Barometer showed that people who said they would definitely or possibly become a paid subscriber over the coming year were most commonly prepared to pay for music — 55% — and movies — 45%. But they were less prepared to pay for TV — only 30%.

KPMG discovered that the average spend per U.K. consumer on traditional media fell from £9.19 ($14) in September 2009 to £7.46 ($11.3) in March 2010.

Meanwhile, the amount spent on digital media fell from £1.99 ($3) to £0.98 ($1.49).

But the time spent consuming media increased hugely. echoing other findings that suggest TV viewing is booming despite increased competition.

The average monthly consumption of traditional media rose from 11 hrs 40 minutes in September last year, to 12 hours 13 minutes in March, said KPMG.

The time spent consuming digital media increased from 6 hours 14 minutes to 7 hours 28 minutes.

David Elms, head of media, KPMG UK, said: “The findings illustrate the problem faced by the media sector in curbing the structural decline in revenues.

“However, online users are increasing. There is considerable focus on driving digital media revenues.

“Respondents indicated they do access more media because of online availability, but the tide has not yet turned, as the majority still prefer consuming media offline.”

He added: “Creating integrated business models which make the most of both traditional and digital business models is therefore key for the sector.”

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