The internet is finally going to be bigger than TV worldwide

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Next year, for the first time, we’ll spend more time using the internet than watching TV.

People will spend an average of 170.6 minutes a day, or nearly three hours, using the internet for things like shopping, browsing social media, chatting with friends, and streaming music and video in 2019, a recent report by media agency Zenith estimated. That’s a tad more than the 170.3 minutes they’re expected to spend watching TV.

Zenith measured media by how they are transmitted or distributed, such as broadcasts via TV signals and newspapers in print. Watching videos on the web through platforms like Netflix and YouTube, or reading a newspaper’s website, counted as internet consumption.

TV has been losing its hold on audiences since platforms like Netflix and YouTube made it easy to watch video online—including the programming you find on traditional TV. And internet usage has been soaring, aided by increasingly affordable mobile devices that give people access to the web for all their waking hours.

Nearly one-quarter of all media consumption across the globe will be through mobile this year, up from 5% in 2011. The average person will spend a total of about eight hours per day consuming media in its many forms this year, Zenith forecasts.

In some parts of the world, TV will remain on top—for now. Zenith forecasted media consumption through 2020 and did not expect the internet to overtake TV in Europe, Latin America, and the whole of North America in that time. In the US, it was projected to surpass TV in the US in two years.

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