2018 Media And Entertainment Benchmarks Report


I used to frequently share stats and trend data on digital media usage here. So when Future Buzz community member and past contributor Ed Zitron linked me to The Media Benchmarks Report it was good inspiration to start doing this again, as I know readers here are always hungry for fresh research. This report from friends at Mixpanel aggregated the data of 349 different media and entertainment companies, spanning 3.5 billion users, analyzing 65,798,306,528 different events between January 2017 and February 2018.

It found a huge amount (full report) of interesting tidbits about audio streaming, video streaming, gaming and written media. I plan on referencing parts of this in future presentations and columns throughout the year but thought all of you would benefit similarly. Thanks to Mixpanel for putting together data from usage of the product (something we have done from Google Analytics data in the past). The macro insights are always so interesting and it’s generous for analytics providers to share this with us to give a 1,000 foot view of the world.

Following are some cool call-outs and executive summary bullet points.

Audio Streaming
  • People predominantly listen to streaming audio during the week on desktop (11-20% more on Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays), with use across the board dropping on the weekends, precipitously when it comes to desktop, suggesting people are mostly listening to music at work.
  • People’s audio streaming tends to be longest on mobile (the median being 6m3s on mobile apps and only 3m on desktop) – the products in the 90th percentile of listenership tend to get 13 minute-long sessions on mobile, and 14 minutes 9 seconds on desktop.
  • Mobile is sticky – the median mobile product has 3 month retention rate of 8%, and the desktop 90th percentile has 10%. The 90th percentile of mobile based audio products by retention around 40% of their users after 3 months.
  • The median gaming product has an average daily active user growth of .18% – meaning for every thousand users a game has, it’s growing around two users a day. The most successful games are growing just under 3% a day.
  • Mobile apps tend to get much longer play-sessions – 6 minutes 6 seconds for the median, 11 minutes 8 seconds in the 90th percentile of scores. In contrast, desktop-web games only got 4 minutes 2 seconds and 9 minutes respectively.
  • The median conversion rate for games was 1.5% – but at the 90th percentile of conversion, it was 11.5% – in both cases, it’s incredibly difficult to convert to a paying customer.
  • The median growth for a video streaming product was 0.2%, which means over the course of the year they’ll double their userbase. The 90th percentile saw a 2% active daily user growth – so in 42 days, they double userbases.
  • Media streaming sessions are much longer in the median on mobile (4 minutes 3 seconds) than on desktop (2 minutes 6 seconds). However, screen size clearly comes into the conversation when it comes to desktop, with mobile getting 7m7s vs desktop’s 10m at the 90th percentile.
  • Mobile app usage is highest on the weekends, with desktop video dropping through the floor 20-30% on Saturday and Sunday. In the week, the pattern inverts, with desktop video becoming king and mobile apps dropping, with all video streaming dipping under on Fridays.
  • People will absolutely pay for content they love, with a 6.2% median conversion rate on video, and a whopping 23.7% at the 90th percentile. This combines both one-offs and subscriptions.
Written Media
  • Elite written media mobile apps are, quite simply, the best of any of the product segments measured at gener-ating recurring users, with the 90th percentile managing a staggering 11 visits per month (30*.37=11.2). On the flipside, it is very difficult to get even the best of mobile web users to continue on with a website.
  • The 90th percentile in written mobile is very strong. While that trendline hasn’t totally flattened out, retaining 50% of readers three months after their initial appearance is quite simply fantastic. Web and mobile retention are different animals – both trailed off to at best 10% after 4 weeks.
  • Mobile is king again – the median read written media on mobile apps for 4 minutes and 3 seconds, the 90th percentile reading a ridiculous 9 minutes 3 seconds. Desktop web saw only 2 minutes 4 seconds on desktop median – with 5 minutes 1 seconds on the 90th percentile.
  • It shouldn’t be a huge surprise that people do more reading on their phones and computers during the work week. Monday through through Thursday saw desktop web – with Tuesdays being the king – absolutely dominate (17%, 22%, 20%, 10%)- and it was the only side that didn’t drop off on Fridays. However, on weekends every written product gets read less – be it mobile apps, mobile web or desktop. In general, mobile apps were slightly more competitive than mobile web.
  • Only a median of 2.2% people convert to paying customers in written media – but in the 90th percentile, that raises to a remarkable 10.8%. That’s actually good news for the most successful media.

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