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February 2019

U.S. consumer spending on media rising, but Japan likely to surpass it

February 7, 2019

U.S. per capita spending averaged $285 per month on media, a figure that is expected to rise to $295 monthly (or about $1,395 annually) through 2022, according to analysts at Research Intelligencer. Last year's figure was up from $278 per month in 2017.

With 2018 expenditures totaling $442.7 billion, the U.S.is the world's largest market for consumer media content, access and technology.

The analysis of data from media industry economists PQ Media also shows the component of consumer spending on media content and technology continues to outpace the ad industry's share.

U.S. households currently account for about 55 percent of the cost of media which compares to 45 percent by the ad industry. That's the highest disparity since PQ Media began tracking the trend.

PQ attributes the shift to consumer spending to both premium content and media technology. On a longer-term basis, the gap between advertising and consumer spending is expected to decelerate.

Consumer spending is adversely impacted when the penetration of new media technologies reach "saturation, as we're seeing in smartphone shipments declining in certain quarters due to fewer consumers upgrading phones immediately upon new introductions," explained Quinn.

Despite the upward trend in spending by U.S. households, Japan will surpass it, according to PQ's new report.

Japanese consumers were expected to spend $1,360.11 in 2018, while Russia was expected to post the fastest growth among the Top 20 markets rising 11.2 percent in per capita spending. The U.S., at 2.5 percent, was projected to be the slowest growing.