Archive for the ‘The State of Media’ Category

Mary Meeker Speaks

April 26, 2010

Morgan Stanley Internet analyst Mary Meeker  issued her 2010 report on Internet trends.  And we all listen.  She says that we, and by that I mean the world, has entered the fifth major technology cycle, marked by the adoption of the mobile Internet in a big(ger) way. She says that mobile will be bigger than desktop usage in five years, and that 3G coverage has reached at least 20% of all the world’s cellphone users.  AT&T is already seeing the result of the data ramp up, as their lines in NY and SF get clogged up.  Says GigaOm, reporting on her report:

The average cell-phone usage pattern is 70 percent voice, while the average iPhone is 45 percent voice. At NTT DoCoMo, data usage accounts for 90 percent of network traffic. The analyst says her team expects mobile data traffic to increase by almost 4,000 percent by 2014, for a cumulative annual growth rate of more than 100 percent. Such numbers will likely strike fear into the hearts of carriers, but joy into the hearts of equipment suppliers and mobile service companies. (by the way if you feel like going through all 87 of her slides, you can do so on GigaOm’s post).

Here are some of the other trends she sees:

Mobile E-Commerce — mobile will revolutionize e-commerce, forcing both innovations for both online and brick-and-mortar companies. She identifies location-based services, push notifications, transparent pricing, and instant mobile delivery as four potential areas this will occur.

Virtual Goods will be a growth area.

Applications:  Meeker refers to Apple and Facebook as”vibrant developer / application platform ecosystems, ” and suggests that companies will continue to leverage social networks for fans and for revenue.

Video: Meeker’s says that video will outpace VoIP and other resources people seek to access with their mobile devices, and that video is driving the growth in mobile Internet traffic. And speaking of VoIP, if Skype were a carrier, it would be by far the largest in the world. She sees a big future for Google voice, as well.

She also says that people are more willing to pay for content on mobile devices than they are on desktops (good news to Apple’s new content providers), and, marketers take note, personalization is more important on mobile than anywhere else.

As far as social networking is concerned, Facebook is now the largest repository of user-generated content and games, while the main professional repository has yet to be determined. Since people spend more time on social networking sites than on other places (232 billion total minutes in 2009), and the time spent on them is growing rapidly (50% more in 2009 than in 2008), in case you hadn’t figured it out, this is the place to be.


The Difficulty of Making an Advertising Job Transition from Print to Digital

March 26, 2010

Ad Age insists that the transition for media professionals from print to digital is difficult and getting to be moreso.   The beginnings of the digital revolution required that ad sales people understood the print medium, and how to sell the story of the consumers to a brand.  Now, however,   ad sales revolve more around the technology than around the story.  Recruiters are looking for people who are more analytical, who can understand optimization. Add to that the fact that there is a “prejudice against print”. There is a big learning curve in going almost wholly digital. “ Partly for that reason, digital employers who do take a chance on print pros aren’t necessarily going to hand out positions equivalent to those being left behind.”  On the bright side, though,

for print professionals who want to make the switch … their digital competition sometimes lacks certain skills that have become more important in the recession. Many digital natives who came up haven’t experienced the ups and downs of business that have marked other, more mature media sectors. If online advertising increasingly focuses on particular audiences, moreover, over and above certain sites, print professionals may have an advantage.

The Media and the Minor

February 1, 2010

And here’s one reason that the iPad is the way the future is going to go.  The future meaning maybe a year from now.  The Kaiser Family Foundation released a study this week about how kids 8-18 use media.  They average 7 ½ hours a day connecting to media in some form, and in those hours, they manage to fit 10 ¾  hours worth of interaction.  Obviously, there’s a lot of multitasking going on – almost 30% of the time that they spend doing something with media, they’re also doing something else with some other medium.  (So why not do it all on one handy device?) The study was conducted to measure media’s effect on children, and, hopefully, to guide those who are involved in their “healthy development”.  What the study found was that, of no surprise to any of us, media use among this age group for every medium except printed matter (books, magazines and newspapers) has grown hugely.  And while the daily reading of magazines and newspapers has dropped rather significantly over the past five years (to 9 minutes and three minutes, respectively) book reading has actually increased slightly in the last 10 years (from 21 to 25 minutes a day).  Now, about that multitasking – kids in grades 7-12 were asked whether they were doing something else while they were using a computer, and 66% said they were. 56% of them admit to being media interactive while they are doing their homework.  Thirty-nine percent in the study said that “most of the time” while watching TV, they’re simultaneously using a computer, reading, playing video games, texting or listening to music. Another 29 percent said they do this “some of the time.” Moreover, kids now consume TV content online (24 minutes), on an iPod or other MP3 player (16 minutes) and on cell phones (15 minutes). Which in general means ignoring commercials.

Media Myths — Confirm or Deny

January 22, 2010

LEK Consulting issued  some findings from a study they did on “Hidden Opportunities in New Media”. Here are a few of those opportunities, which don’t seem all that hidden to me.  First off, cable providers can rest safely in the assurance that people will continue to be happy to shell out their money.  What’s more, for the most  part, they are willing to pay a few extra shekels for the ability to watch TV shows either online or on mobile, as long as those shekels do not add up to more than $20. The cable bill will end up being a catch-all for much viewing on all platforms.

Rather than decreasing TV viewing, the study found, DVR usage actually increased it.  Of course, as DVR’s pick up usage, broadcasters are going to have to come up with a way to make sure that the time-shifting population gets their quota of advertising.  Some other findings – e-readers could be the savior that publishers are seeking; e-reader owners read more than paper readers do, both books and periodicals, and they read stuff that they would not have read in print.

We’ve mentioned this before, but these numbers make the truism startling – people are multi-consuming like crazy. 33% of online time is also spent with the TV on; 19% of people who are online are also listening to music, and 11% of people who are online are also talking on the phone.  In other news, Internet radio is about to put satellite to permanent sleep. And the study debunked and confirmed several media myths.

Debunked: TV will be ravaged by Internet cannibalization; the success of movies this year will continue; DVD sales drops are due to the recession and will bounce back later

Confirmed: Physical newspapers are continuing their march to total irrelevance; “all you can eat” pricing works better than transactions in a recession; “Life requires a soundtrack”, Internet usage continues to eat into personal time.

Where the Jobs Are

January 15, 2010

USA Today created an interactive map, with the help of Moody’s Economy that will show you where job growth in the information/entertainment sector will be happening.  Hint: it’s not New York, where such jobs are expected to continue to shrink (3% in 2010).  The left coast, if you were thinking in that direction, will be flat. Here’s where the growth is: New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma (!), South Dakota and  —  a bit closer to home – New Hampshire and Massachussetts.

Mediabistro’s Jobs Report

January 15, 2010

MediaBistro published this week its first jobs report, compiled from its job board.  There are some categories that reported growth: PR, marketing and digital/online.  The areas with the biggest declines were television, teaching and magazines. Another highlight is that in 2007 the top 10 posters on the board accounted for 19% of the jobs; in 2009 they accounted for only 8%.  And, says the report, competition for jobs is fierce: many jobs getting hundreds of applications. In fact, a quarter of all jobs had more than 100 applications submitted, while the average was 81 applications per job. The greatest number of applications for a single job was 1,309.

A Really Long Post of My Predictions for 2010

December 18, 2009

There is something inexorable about an idea whose time has come.  There are some ideas that take a very long way around, getting to acceptance.  But the march of technology has brought along with it a speeding up of history – changes that used to take hundreds of years are now occurring with greater rapidity.  There was a time in European history when the Catholic Church reigned supreme.  This reign brought forth the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition and other shows of power.  Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg Church in 1517 in protest against the sale of papal indulgences, an act that, owing to the recent invention of the printing press, was spread throughout Germany in a matter of weeks, and that sparked the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.  The church and the heads of European state had so much to gain by the status quo (except for Henry VIII), however, that this idea whose time had come was still being fought over at least until the end of the 30 Years’ War in 1648.  End of history lesson. The point is, that I think that 2010 will be the pivotal year when Old Media, or what’s left of it, will stop fighting the idea whose time has come , the idea that started 10 years ago with the advent of Napster, and hopefully embrace it. I believe that this is the year when the two disparate streams of thought  – “information needs to be free” and “we need to make money” – finally begin to make some sort of peace.   And pay-walls will start to rise. (more…)

Food For Thought About the Media Diet of College Students

November 13, 2009

If kids are at the leading edge of media use, it’s handy to know how they are consuming it.  The College Explorer study by Alloy media+marketing takes a look at the technology that kids own, and how they are using it.  We all know that they pretty much all have computers, digital cameras and MP3 players.  But the interesting part is that the average kid spends 12 hours a day interacting with some form of media.  You have to imagine that some of this activity is occurring simultaneously, unless they never go to classes or their jobs. And the biggest jump has been in online viewing.  (more…)