Reports Critical Developments

Attention inflation How multitasking is reshaping the attention economy

Report by Karol Severin and Perry Gresham
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20,000 foot view:  Entertainment hours are up, but consumption is becoming diluted and losing focus, and is increasingly in the background of other activities. Audiences want to consume more but have no more time to allocate; increased multitasking is the result. Consequently, attention / focus is split between more propositions. In other words, entertainment time spent is growing but is getting less valuable. This is the era of attention inflation.

Key insights

  • In        2022, consumers spent        average weekly hours on entertainment, up from        in        2021
  • The composition of consumption hours is changing – focused consumption declined from        to        hours, while background consumption grew from        to       
  • Socialising while engaging in digital is becoming increasingly important, having grown from        to        hours between        2021 and        2022
  • Multitasking and digital socialising are increasingly disrupting focused consumption, which means that the value of time spent is decreasing. Focused consumption is decreasing for all age groups
  • Consumption hours have generally increased since        2020 for consumers aged        but are relatively unchanged for those under        Older segments also maintained higher shares of focused consumption
  • The attention inflation dynamics favour multitasking-friendly propositions that do not demand heavy focus from the consumer
  • Social media and music streaming are the big winners of the attention inflation dynamics, having increased weekly time spent by        and        year-on-year respectively
  • Video consumption retains the highest share of weekly hours        of all entertainment formats, though its weekly hours have declined by       
  • Music is positioned to thrive in the era of attention inflation
  • Games have an opportunity to accommodate some of the time spent on music and video by providing interactive venues

Companies and brands mentioned in this report:  Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Heardle, Instagram, Microsoft, Netflix, Shorts, Snapchat, Spotify, TikTok, Twitter, Vevo, YouTube

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