Digital disruptions

The digital media disruptions that have caused traditional media companies to make sweeping changes including innovations, trainings, new products and cutbacks have also affected other industries.

Digitalization caused seismic changes in the media industry because of shifting consumer media usage patterns and therefore redistribution of advertising expenditure. Other industries have been transformed because of digital disruptions, such as banking, camera, postal, music and film, just to name a few.

As audience moves to digital platforms, so, too, does advertising and publishing. According to ZenithOptimedia, advertising expenditure for television, the No. 1 advertising medium in the world, will remain relatively stable, at 39.5 percent of the adspend in 2015, compared to 40.1 percent in 2012. Internet adspend, which surpassed newspaper adspend in 2012, will grow to 24.3 percent share, while newspapers will shrink to 15.1 percent adspend, compared to 18.3 percent and 18.7 percent adspend in 2012, respectively.

When comparing adspend proportionate to consumers’ time spent on each medium in the United States, television and Internet remain somewhat equal; however, magazine and newspaper publishing adspend and usage are vastly disproportionate. Publishing garners 23 percent of the adspend and attracts only 6 percent of the audience members’ time, while mobile attracts 12 percent of the consumers’ time, and only three percent of the adspend, according to eMarketer via Mary Meeker’s digital media report. Advertising agency critics says the disproportionate adspend/time spent ratios have begun to equalize in the past few years. The gap is now closing between adspend and time spent in the publishing and mobile media realms, which threatens publishers’ bottom lines.

“TV viewing is about 43 percent of consumers’ time, [ad] investment is 43 percent, outdoor advertising and radio are about right,” said Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, the largest advertising conglomerate in the world. “The two big [anomalies] are newspapers and magazines. We are still investing 20 percent [of client ad budgets] but consumers are only spending 7 to 10 percent of time. That has to change,” Sorrell said at a Financial Times media conference in April 2013. WPP spends US$73 billion globally on buying ad space across media on behalf of advertising clients.

The Internet has changed offline habits in banking to an online discipline. Two-thirds to three-quarters of the respondents from the developed countries tended to pay bills and use online banking services. The less well-off countries like Colombia andSpain tended not to use these online functionalities. Online investments were far less popular, except in Australia, Canada and Sweden. The online banking disruption has forced banks to create PC and mobile self-service conveniences, which has contributed to the reduction of the workforce for local banks. Bill paying and automatic bank transfers have severely reduced the need for postal services, causing a devastating impact on workforce and profitability.

The rise of email correspondence and online bill paying over time has been blamed for the U.S. Postal Service’s precipitous drop in numbers of pieces of mail and its plummeting profitability, according to Mary Meeker’s 2013 digital report.

While most research focuses on users’ reasons for spending time on the Internet, a USC study also looked at why some respondents choose not to sign on. In most cases, the non users of the Internet said they had no interest or it was not useful to them, particularly in Australia, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The second most popular answer was that the respondents were “confused by technology” or did not know how to use the Internet.

In the 2013 book “The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business, “Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt and co-author Jared Cohen envisage that in the next decade, 5 billion people around the world will be added to the ranks of Internet users, many of whom currently don’t have access, cannot afford access or are not technically inclined.

The data set is a part of a collection of 500 revenue and usership trends in mobile, social, Internet, tablet, video and other digital categories, published in the 200-page Global Digital Media Trendbook 2013. GDMT, in its eight year, is to be published by World Newsmedia Network, a not-for-profit media research company, in September 2013. To subscribe to the PDF report and/or the tablet edition, go to www.wnmn.org, or contact mstone@wnmn.org.

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