the economics of attention
the economics of attention

This piece highlights the economics of attention across consumer media. This is curious for a few reasons, understanding what we as consumers get for free and what that’s worth, what consumers are willing to pay for content, the potential for up and coming media like TikTok, how scale and personalization impact the economics.

We have broken it into two sections, different mediums and different platforms. And the dollar amount per hour the platform earns from our attention.

 Revenue per hour (cents)
Medium 
Cable67
Linear TV18
Newspapers160
Podcasts10.8
  
Platform 
Amazon Prime*15
Facebook69
Fortnite29
Spotify22
Netflix12
YouTube58

Arising or outstanding questions

Some of the areas that need exploring:

  • How do the economics change over the life cycle of a media format and/or media company.
  • Finding historical data for the more traditional mediums.
  • A hypothesis on the best balance.

Have any corrections? Please Tweet or email me.

Read on for the sources behind the data.


Data sources

Leisure Time

In the US, in 2019, the average male spent 5.5 hours of leisure time and females 4.9 hours.

Mediums

Cable

Using this calculation, there may be more accurate data available.

LinearTV

Using the breakout provided here.

Newspapers

Used an average of 16.3 minutes/day, then extrapolated how many newspapers are in circulation and US print revenue. Of $26.5b revenue, circulation of 28.6m/weekday, 30m/weekend, 8 hours/month.

This data could be improved.

Podcasts

Assuming 4 ads per hour, at the middle CPMS quoted here.

Platforms

Amazon Prime

This is based on what Amazon Prime pays the creators. The real economic rate could be higher or lower. Lower if Amazon were investing aggressively in attention or lower if Amazon is wanting to make a margin on it.

*This datapoint is based on what a creator is paid for their content, whereas other data points are what the consumer has paid the platform or calculated from ad revenue.

Facebook

Using time of 19 hours/month and ARPU in the US of $13.21/month, $39.63/quarter.

Fortnite

Using $100/year and 7 hours per week.

Spotify

ARPU of $5.50/month and average streaming time of 25 hours/month.

Netflix

Using this calculation.

YouTube

YouTube data is harder to come by but in 2019 Google offered a break out of revenue, this paired with hours watched a month provides an estimation. This would be global.

  • 3.25b hours watched a month
  • $22.5b/year

     


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