I’m at the NineMSN Digital Marketing Summit today, checking out what NineMSN, the Australian online joint venture between television channel 9 and Microsoft, is telling the marketing industry in Australia, significantly related to Microsoft’s vision.
The biggest drawcard of the day for me was Jeffrey Cole of USC Annanberg School Center for the Digital Future, who I hadn’t heard speak before. Below are notes I took during his presentation. See also notes from Dan Sheniak of Wieden + Kennedy on the future of the big idea, and on presentations by Joe Pollard, Carolyn Everson, and Brian Monahan.
Jeffrey runs the World Internet Project, which has studied the impact of the internet every year since 2000, beginning in the US and now covers over 30 countries around the world. He says it should have been conducted on television in the 1940s when that began, but at least we are now able to track the progress of the internet.
Schedules have almost disappeared: newspapers used to come out once a day, albums of a dozen songs or so would be packaged and released every 18-24 months, and TV programming was selected from a TV guide.
There are too many choices today – if you offer infinite choice people only use a little broader scope than if they had a narrow field. People spend 90% of their time on their 15 favorite websites.
All media will survive, but most will be smaller players in a digital era.
The film business has been shrinking for a long time. Avatar, while hugely successful, is in real terms the seventh most successful film to date. DVDs are not coming back, and movie theaters have been overbuilt and will become smaller. The traditional movie release schedule is disappearing, and at the right price you will be able to watch a film at home on the same day as its theater release. Power goes to the best content creators.
In the music industry, digital will soon pass non-digital in revenue, CDs will be gone in 5 years, partly due to environmental reasons. Music will become an ancillary business to performing, merchandising and so on. Power shifts to everyone.
In books, Amazon.com says it gets more revenue from digital than prong. We are buying fewer books. Jeffrey realized that either he or his heirs would get rid of his books, so he donated all of his books except the 40 he couldn’t part with. People will pay a premium for art books. Self-publishing is now the smart choice. Power goes to the authors.
In newspapers, while in the past teenagers began reading papers when they became an adult. That pattern has been broken, but not because young people are not interested in news – they are more than ever. When internet penetration reaches 30% in a country, newspapers decline. Jeffrey used to say that every time a newspaper reader dies they are not being replaced, but he now sees that he was an optimist. Power is going to the global players such as New York Times.
The iPad is transformational. Only 4-6% of people who use PCs need PCs – they can use smaller devices such as tablets. iPad is likely to win in tablets, just as the iPod has won in MP3 players. This is the most exciting development in the last 100 years for newspapers. It may become the beginning of the end of the mouse. Every room in the house will have its own tablet.
Television will grow. People are beginning to watch long-form video on their mobiles, escaping the home, becoming our constant companion. In 2010 we have seen the maturation of co-viewing TV programs, sharing their experience through social networks. We will put our social conversations in a feed at the bottom of the screen, and there will be apps to synchronize our PVRs with our friends so we can watch programs together. Power is going to creators and the viewers.
Time in front of screens explodes. 80% of teens sleep within reach of their phone.
Advertising will be embedded in film, music, books.
Brand becomes more important than ever. New York Times is attracting young new readers because it has a strong brand. The rise of amateur content accentuates the value of professional content.
Three ways to support content (steal, fee, advertising). The dominant preference today is for advertising-supported rather than paid content. That will be increasingly through behavioral advertising that is relevant and interesting. How people use a remote device can identify their gender and who they are in a household.
Privacy concerns reach a peak. Four things are needed to go beyond the privacy concerns of today 1. what information is collected and why 2. privacy statements not written by and for lawyers 3. enforcement of those privacy statements 4. need easy opt-out (not opt-in)
Social networking is the real deal. Jeffrey went back to his earlier comments on News Corp’ purchase of MySpace, and feels he is vindicated. It wasn’t cool once it was owned by News. The heaviest users of social networking are those in their 60s and 70s, discussing the things that are important to them like health and politics.
Learning curve is steeper than action curve. You need to learn everything as fast as possible, but it doesn’t mean you need to do everything.
E-nuff already. Nobody wants to give up the internet, but they are getting tired of it dominating their life and communicating at all times. The line between work and home has blurred, mainly to the advantage of the employer. People are saying they want control. Device fatigue is also setting in.
Here are some of Jeffrey’s responses to questions following his presentation:
He said that he thinks that Murdoch is the right person to lead the paywall charge, and that he will succeed, but only in a few of his properties such as The Times.
Agencies are not equipped to deal with the changes. They are generally run by people in their 40s and 50s who aren’t on top of what’s happening.
It’s going to take 4-5 years for Facebook to fragment.
Australia’s NBN will happen – for now there is quarreling over details but it will get there.