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US Media Trends Autumn Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Media Trends Autumn market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

This report examines people’s media habits in terms of purchasing and activity over the last three months.

  • Video includes TV shows and films delivered through DVDs, Blu-ray discs, pay-TV and streamed video services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
  • Video Games includes PC, console and mobile games.
  • Music refers to CDs, digital download singles, digital download albums and streaming music services such as Spotify or Apple Music.
  • Print media refers to newspaper, magazine and book titles in either a digital or physical format.

What you need to know

The shift towards on-demand TV viewing has continued in 2018, with more people signing up to subscription video services. It was, however, a particularly notable summer for linear viewing, with the FIFA World Cup and Love Island both highlighting a strong ongoing interest in collective viewing experiences. With new video subscriptions set to launch in the coming years, from players such as ITV and Apple, the TV viewing market could soon see some considerable changes.

Streaming also continues to drive the current success of the music industry. Listening to music is an activity now performed across a wide range of devices and the growing popularity of smart speakers and voice activation features in general is beginning to alter how and when people listen to audio content, including music, podcasts and audiobooks.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Rebecca McGrath, a leading analyst in the Media sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Across media markets consumers have become very comfortable with the subscription payment model and they show a willingness to sign up to multiple types of subscriptions, with expense the primary barrier to doing so. The video subscription market in particular is set to undergo significant changes over the coming years as many new subscription options are introduced from players such as YouTube, ITV and Apple. Rebecca McGrath
Senior Media Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The consumer
            • Christmas offers a clear boost to physical purchases
              • Figure 1: Physical media purchases, December 2017-18
            • Further growth in streaming video service usage
              • Figure 2: Paid-for subscriptions, December 2017-18
            • Media downloads remain a niche part of all sectors
              • Figure 3: Media downloads, December 2017-18
            • Spotify aims to boost revenue by creating more targeted adverts
              • Figure 4: Media activities, December 2017-18
            • Mobile-only subscription tiers aim to take advantage of video viewership on smartphones
              • Figure 5: Devices used for media activities, December 2018
              • Figure 6: Devices used for media activities, December 2018
            • Over one in four post pictures on social media
              • Figure 7: Content created and uploaded online, December 2018
            • Nearly half are trying to give insight into their life with media uploads
              • Figure 8: Reasons for creating and uploading media content, December 2018
            • TV shows are the media content discussed most in person
              • Figure 9: Behaviour after consuming media, December 2018
          • Physical Media Purchases

            • Christmas offers a clear boost to physical purchases
              • Concerns about the environment and limited space will accelerate decline of physical media
                  • Figure 10: Physical media purchases, December 2017-18
              • Subscription Services

                • Further growth in streaming video service usage
                  • Figure 11: Paid-for subscriptions, December 2017-18
                  • Figure 12: Repertoire of subscription media services used, December 2017-18
                • New video subscriptions to shake up market but consumers may be resistant
                  • Figure 13: Use of subscription TV and video streaming services, by age, December 2017-18
                  • Figure 14: Use of subscription TV and video streaming services, by age, December 2018
                • Growth in use of music subscription services slower than video
                  • Upcoming Apple News subscription service could boost willingness to pay for news
                  • Media Downloads

                    • Media downloads remain a niche part of all sectors
                      • Figure 15: Media downloads, December 2017-18
                      • Figure 16: Media downloads, by age, December 2017-18
                    • Video game downloads grow significantly among younger people
                      • Figure 17: Video game downloads in last three months, by age, December 2017-18
                  • Media Activities

                    • Freeview TV goes mobile in an attempt to keep up with changing habits
                      • Figure 18: Media activities, December 2017-18
                    • Spotify aims to boost revenue by creating more targeted adverts
                      • Spotify to take podcast market to the next level
                        • Podcasts should give greater focus to appealing to women
                          • Cairncross Review calls to create fairer digital advertising market for newspapers
                          • Devices Used for Media Activities

                            • Mobile-only subscription tiers aim to take advantage of video viewership on smartphones
                              • People more likely to pay for short-form content
                                • Betting on sporting success
                                  • Figure 19: Devices used for media activities, December 2018
                                  • Figure 20: Devices used for media activities, December 2018
                                • Voice to boost music listening across smart devices
                                  • Greater personalisation is the next step
                                    • New streaming services to make high-quality video games accessible on more devices
                                    • Special Focus: Media Content Created and Uploaded Online

                                      • Over one in four post pictures on social media
                                        • Social media platforms step up action to prevent availability of inappropriate images
                                          • Figure 21: Content created and uploaded online, December 2018
                                          • Figure 22: Repertoire of types of media content created and uploaded, by age, December 2018
                                          • Figure 23: Content created and uploaded online, by gender, December 2018
                                          • Figure 24: Content created and uploaded online, by age, December 2018
                                        • Nearly one in four 16-24-year-olds create short online videos
                                          • YouTube working to appease creators
                                            • Facebook expands monetisation options
                                              • Nearly one in three young men are creating and uploading music
                                              • Special Focus: Reasons for Uploading Media Content

                                                • Nearly half are trying to give insight into their life with media uploads
                                                  • Instagram makes a fresh attempt at friend lists
                                                    • Figure 25: Reasons for creating and uploading media content, December 2018
                                                    • Figure 26: Reasons for creating and uploading media content, by gender, December 2018
                                                    • Figure 27: Reasons for creating and uploading media content, by age, December 2018
                                                  • New EU legislation to increase copyright protections…
                                                    • …which could limit fan culture
                                                      • Lack of global releases still causing copyright problems
                                                        • One in five 16-24-year-olds are creating in order to make money
                                                        • Special Focus: Behaviour after Consuming Media

                                                          • TV shows are the media content discussed most in person
                                                            • Fragmentation could reduce discussion potential of shows
                                                              • Video services look to boost the social side of streams
                                                                • Regulation and interactivity will be key to social appeal
                                                                  • Figure 28: Behaviour after consuming media, December 2018
                                                                  • Figure 29: Methods of discussing media after consuming, by gender, December 2019
                                                                  • Figure 30: Methods of discussing media after consuming, by age, December 2019
                                                                • Making music streaming social has to centre around shared listening
                                                                  • Women are reading fewer professional media reviews
                                                                    • Figure 31: Read professional reviews about media content (online or offline), by gender, December 2018
                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations, and Supporting Information

                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                      • Consumer research methodology