Media’s Digital Direction in 2011

Digital technologies have diminished traditional media in recent years, but expect 2011 to paint a clearer picture of the media landscape that lies ahead, according to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal.

How will these digital developments impact media as we know it?

Social Media – The phenomenon of social media is expected to grow beyond cyberspace. New businesses will use social media to connect with consumers and provide real-world services that enable them to purchase products and accomplish actual physical tasks. Mobile phones will steer these innovative online-offline services through the element of location-based convenience.

Movies – Now that consumers prefer to rent movies from Netflix instead of buying DVDs directly, expect Hollywood to get creative with concepts such as “premium VOD,” a video-on-demand service that lets viewers see movies sooner but for higher prices. The problem arises from theater owners who fear that early video releases will hurt ticket sales. While this conflict continues, the certainty is that earlier video-on-demand will push DVD releases and impact everyone.

Television – Younger consumers have begun watching their favorite shows on the Web rather than on TV, evidenced by the biggest ratings decline in four years. As a result, networks are now focusing on profiting from Internet TV and online videos by charging for their formerly free programs.

Books – The enormous sales of e-readers will make this a record-selling year for e-books at the sacrifice of traditional book sales and brick-and-mortar book stores. In 2010, e-books sales were just under $1 billion and are expected to nearly triple to $2.8 billion by 2015. Apple, Google and are now offering publishers a world of digital opportunities, and it’s expected that the iPad and other new tablets will extend the reach and appeal of e-books even farther.

Newspapers/Magazines – While the print-advertising declines of the recession have stabilized, ad revenue growth for the print industry will remain elusive as readers continue to convert to the Internet, tablets and other places where ads are much less expensive than print. In addition, publishers will search for ways to profit off their digital editions without driving away their online audience.

Music – Concert sales plunged as ticket prices rose in 2010, so promoters realize they need to revamp their business. Their goal is to develop a system with lower average ticket prices and more price levels to make concerts more accessible to fans, yet in a way that allows performers to earn the same amount for performances.

Games – The videogame industry has boomed to include major technology companies. Apple will continue to lead the way in mobile gaming with its touch-screen devices, yet its biggest innovation is the App Store which has completely changed the system of selling games. The App Store’s low prices are a cause of concern about the future price of games for more established gaming companies, yet these brands like Nintendo will debut games with innovations that mobile devices can’t match.

Advertising – Following intense scrutiny over tracking consumers online, the industry is now pushing self regulation in an attempt to fend off government regulation. The FTC recently called for an official “Do Not Track” system, but advertising industry advocates will rally against it in favor of a responsible, self-regulatory program adopted throughout the Internet.

Media has made its move in the digital direction and this technological trend will likely continue into 2011 and beyond.

“It’s a very exciting time for all of us in media,” says Karen Bleier, MDG’s media director. “As digital technologies and tools continue to emerge, there will be constant modifications to the media mix as we determine how to best reach consumers in each of these industries. As media vendors search for ways to monetize their audiences, one of the greatest challenges will be to convince people to pay for digital information they’re used to accessing for free—without driving down traffic. Although these changes come with difficulties, they provide tremendous opportunities. But even as we embrace these digital technologies, we need to stay focused on targeting with trusted measurable reporting.”

MDG, a full-service Florida advertising agency, with offices in Boca Raton and New York, NY, specializes in developing targeted, Internet marketing solutions, exceptional creative executions and solid branding and online media buying strategies that give clients a competitive advantage. To view all MDG corporate identity projects, collateral design, signage, TV and Web design, click here.

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