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Average Time Spent with Media in France

Most people still spending time with traditional media, but digital rises rapidly

Despite the rapid rise of digital, time spent with traditional media remains dominant in France. However, as consumers max out on how much they can multitask per day and reach a media saturation point, total time spent with media will likely plateau in the next several years.

Daily average time spent with media has increased minimally since 2017. Adults in France will spend 10 hours, 6 minutes (10:06) on average with all media in 2019, with digital making up 41.1% of that total and the rest being spent on broadcast TV, radio and print. Even though people are spending most of their time with traditional media, TV viewing time is expected to decrease by at least 2% in 2019 and 2020.

“These figures reflect a continuing shift away from all traditional media to their digital equivalents, across most of the population,” said eMarketer principal analyst Karin von Abrams. “It’s the same pattern we’re seeing in other advanced economies, including the US and the UK. Of course, many older people in particular remain wedded to traditional linear television and broadcast radio, as well as print newspapers and magazines. But in younger cohorts, the default is increasingly to access those kinds of content on digital platforms: for example, watching time-shifted TV shows on a PC, reading news on publishers’ sites or social media and catching up with sports scores via smartphone apps.”

As a result, time spent with digital media will rise by over 3% this year and an estimated 2.3% in 2020. Digital video is a growing contributor to how people are spending time with digital media, and among adults in France ages 18 and older, time spent grew 23% in 2018 and will surpass 0:54 this year.

Mobile growth is also a major component of digital time spent. We saw dramatic increases in mobile time spent in 2018, about an extra 11 minutes a day to 0:46 total among the online population. The gains were even more drastic among millennials: People in the 15-to-35 age group spent 23 more minutes on mobile between October 2017 and October 2018, making the total mobile time for that group 1:24.

“Here too, France broadly mirrors a key trend seen in the US, Canada and the rest of Western Europe,” von Abrams said.

“Today, smartphones are absolutely central to the lives of millennials in France: When those phones are the preferred device for activities such as social networking, shopping, researching restaurants and entertainment options, checking travel updates and messaging friends and family, it’s no surprise to find these sharp rises in mobile time,” she said.

As is the case for mobile time spent in other markets, app use dominates the French’s time: Almost half of their time was spent on the 10 most-visited apps, nine of them belonging to the Facebook-Google duopoly. YouTube was the most widely-used app among smartphone users, followed by Facebook and Google Search.

New legislation has been introduced that might be a deterrent for young people spending time with mobile: The government in France has banned mobile phones in schools for children ages 3 to 15, but it remains to be seen whether the ban will be enforceable and whether this will have significant impact on mobile use.

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