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Rates of increase in digital media consumption continue to slow, according to projections by eMarketer.

What it means: Because the number of hours in a day doesn't increase, media consumption becomes a zero-sum game. Per eMarketer, "increased time spent with one medium will tend to come at the expense of time spent with another." Slowing digital growth could mean users aren't ready to fully give up other mediums (radio, TV, print, etc.).

Expand chart

Data: eMarketer; Chart: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

While time spent is expected to plateau, so is user adoption of new mediums and sources of information.

  • Apps: As comScore identified last year, we are now at or nearing "peak app" usage, meaning that most smartphone users download zero or only one new app per month.
  • Social media users and penetration: eMarketer's projected growth for social media users and global penetration has been steadily declining and is only set to increase by 5% by 2020, compared to the 12% year over year increases in 2014 and 2015.

On the business side, scaled marketing is also showing signs of stagnation:

  • Facebook newsfeed: Facebook CFO David Wehner said in 2016, they expect their Newsfeed ad load to hit saturation by the middle of this year, (which is why we're seeing such an emphasis on video advertising).
  • Banner ads: An increase in ad blockers globally suggests that the digital display ecosystem has become too intrusive and crowded. The latest estimates show advertisers spending more money on native campaigns than standard display for the first time ever. Next year, native is set to make up over 67% of digital ad spend.
  • Brand emojis: "2015 potentially saw an overload of poor emoji integrations that didn't add much value," said John Ohara, SVP at Giant Spoon to Digiday. "A lot of brands moved into the space too quickly, and ended up neither being true to their core brand identity nor adding to it in a meaningful way."

Why it matters: Because our media diet is becoming more saturated, all of the players in the ecosystem will have to work harder to produce better content and experiences to maintain our attention, whether that be via digital ads, social personalization algorithms, videos or articles.

Go deeper

CNN suspends Chris Cuomo indefinitely

Chris Cuomo in 2019. Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for THR

CNN announced Tuesday evening that it has suspended anchor Chris Cuomo indefinitely following new revelations about his involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Driving the news: New documents released Monday showed that Cuomo used his contacts to garner information about the women accusing his brother, former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, of sexual harassment, as well as of emerging media coverage relating to the scandal.

2 hours ago - Health

FDA panel backs Merck's antiviral COVID pill

The Merck Cherokee Plant in Riverside, Pa. Photo: Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

An FDA advisory panel on Tuesday voted 13-10 to endorse an antiviral pill developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics to treat adults at high risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19, despite concerns over its effectiveness and safety.

Why it matters: Oral antiviral drugs designed to prevent or treat COVID-19 could be key pandemic-fighting tools, if proven effective, especially as new variants emerge. If authorized, the Merck drug, known as molnupiravir, would be the first treatment of its kind to be made available in the United States.

Shooting at Michigan high school leaves 3 dead, 6 wounded

Screengrab: CBSN

Three people dead and six others are wounded after a shooting at a high school in Michigan according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.

Driving the news: The alleged shooter was a 15-year-old sophomore at Oxford High School and has been arrested, per police.