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Consumers to spend more time on digital than TV in 2014′

The prediction is a consumption shift some parties say means marketers need to quickly undertake a “radical” reinvention of their organisations and the way they communicate with consumers, although other sectors of the market have warned against equating the increased time spent with mobile and digital devices to a jump in media spend on those channels.

EMarketer has predicted that the average UK adult will spend more than 3 hours 41 minutes per day online or on non-voice mobile and tablet activities this year, compared with the 3 hours 15 minutes spent watching television.

Time spent with mobile and tablets in particular will come to represent more than half TV’s share of total media consumption time and will make up nearly half of digital media time as a whole, while desktop and laptop time is “plateauing”, eMarketer says.

The research house bases its estimate on a meta-analysis of “thousands of data points and dozens of sources” of qualitative and quantitative data from research firms, government agencies, media outlets and company reports, weighing each study on “methodology and soundness”. The “time spent” reflects simultaneous media consumption, meaning if a consumer was watching TV while checking emails, both would be included in the total.

The year of mobile is in the rear-view mirror

The research indicates that while for years the marketing industry has been talking about the “year of mobile”, it is now in the “rear view mirror – that was the year of mobile”, according to eMarketer vice president and editorial director Ezra Palmer.

Mark D’Arcy, chief creative officer at Facebook Creative Shop says: “The power of having this [research] is that it solidifies these first person observations we all have about how people are behaving…the fact that this shift not a surprise does not make it any less important.

“The shift now for marketers should not just be ‘people are spending more time here so I should shift more money this way’…but to recentre around how people live their lives…to not reinvent is not just a missed opportunity, it could be a serious missed opportunity.”

D’Arcy says the question he gets asked most from marketers is “how do I reorganise to make mobile my centre of gravity?”. He responds by advising on a number of “simple” things such as encouraging marketers approve work on their phones, in the same way the industry used to listen to radio ads in the car before they went live.

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