The Race for the Money and Audience in a Digital World

Traditional Advertising and Media have been declared dead for quite a while and that the web/social/mobile arena will draw all the money and all the users/readers/watchers from all other media groups… and eventually in a distant future that may be the case but so far both 2010 and 2011 the traditional media usage and ad spend has been pretty good in holding its own… If you look both in the US  and Sweden TV and other media groups has received a rather large proportion of the media spend and in Sweden for an example morning dailies is still the largest advertising medium, followed by internet and TV. Outdoor has been surging in virtually every country as far as I can find statistics and my prediction is that it will keep growing.

In my opinion TV and Outdoor will keep holding its own very well and I base that on one specific assumption. They are to be one of the few media groups that will have the possibility to deliver a large audience to large brands. Why is that then important? Well to be a big, generally well-known brand, you need to expose your message to large audiences and deliver it fast and easy-to-get messages. TV and Outdoor are perfect for that! In certain parts of the world like the nordic countries, japan and some more Dailies are strong carriers of advertising due to habits of reading that die very hard. We will see a different type of mediums like Tablets and similar devices but they will still be fed with the news from large publishers with titles like New York Times, The Guardian, Ashai Shimbun, Dagens Nyheter etc… just not necessary on printed paper. We did back in 1999 at Dagens Nyheter (big daily in Sweden) a study on how to deliver on digital paper and found the business model very attractive and highly possible to execute if we had access to just a digital carrier that were sturdy enough… it could easily compete and outperform printed paper and deliver very special qualities like video, targeted content and advertising etc.

Many persons in the advertising trade keep claiming that the old players will not be able to compete with the start-ups, the faster runners… but I think I will disagree to these opinions based on just the fact that you will not necessarily trust John Doe wanna-be Journalist… Trust come with longer term experiences… The big players will of course have to adapt to the fact that there are bloggers, specialists etc that will be faster, that will provide insights that a traditional journalist might not stand a chance to compete with but journalism as a trade will still be very important as being persons that are trained to try to find at least a reasonable truth and critically go through sources and facts… They will however need to cooperate with other people and trades in a different fashion for the future.

We will see many changes but no group will die and disintegrate if they adapt to the form their subscribers and users wishes to consume the content they produce. Content will still be king and most small players cannot compete with the big ones here… Niches will come and niches will disappear but the big content areas and the brands and their readers will hardly do so…

So the game is adaption to user behavior and their wished for ways of consuming the content… That is the one big prediction I think we can all settle for being the big thing for the future! Then advertising money will follow… that is a bet I would put money on…

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