One fact has become indisputable in the last few years: the British population is addicted to digital content. According to research by Adobe into the UK’s content consumption habits, millennials spend an average of 8.5 hours a day reading, watching, creating and engaging with content on their devices.
If this sounds high, it is above the UK average of 6.9 hours, but well below that of the generation below them. According to the research, Generation Z spend a whopping 10.6 hours engaging with online content every single day.
The survey 1,000 UK consumers found that the smartphone is by far the most popular method of content consumption. Millennials spend an average of 5.2 hours a day consuming content on their phones, compared to 5.9 hours for Gen Z.
54% said that they use multiple devices at any one time, with the average being 1.8 devices.
Recent events have made the average content consumer more savvy and cautious. The rise of fake news has made people much more sceptical of the authenticity and quality of the content they consume. 77% reported being more cautious about what they engage with now then they were half a decade ago.
One of the main effects of this has been to make people more likely to engage with content that comes from a trusted source. 58% would share content from friends and family, compared to only 29% for a well-know YouTuber or the 26% that would share from a known brand.
The frequency with which people share has also dropped. 18% of respondents said that they share content daily, while the vast majority (61%) only do so monthly.
The research also pointed towards the fact that consumers still responded strongly to branded content as long as it ticks the boxes of being authentic, well designed and relevant. 46% said that content that provides a good experience influences their purchasing decisions, while 24% would share it with their friends.
Bad content, however, can have pronounced negative consequences for brands. Consumers pointed to badly written content (49%), irrelevant (44%) and poorly designed (35%) as their biggest content gripes. 71% said they would not buy from a brand that published this kind of content.
“With the rise of fake news and ‘click-bait’ content, consumers are increasingly looking for engaging content that provides them with an authentic and relevant experience,” John Watton, Senior Marketing Director, Adobe EMEA, said.
“Whether it’s across social, online, blogs, or email communications, branded content has to be well-designed, optimised for the device, and offer a genuine experience that goes beyond selling products. Brands that succeed will drive customer acquisition and loyalty; those that don’t will see customers swipe their screen in search for content that offers them a better experience.”
– by Colm Hebblethwaite