I was at a media event the other day and I couldn’t help but notice that everyone seemed a bit flat, which is most unusual when free booze is involved. I guess it’s understandable, with the alarming number of recent job cuts by Fairfax and News Corp, and the slow decline of revenue generated by traditional media advertising, it’s not surprising.
One of the main protagonists in this unfolding drama is of course the Internet. And for the moment at least, it’s omnipotent presence is starting to freak a few people out. One Media Analyst, on a more ‘sensational’ TV news report, described the Internet as a Hannibal Lecter like presence…’cannibalizing’ modern day media from the inside out. While others speculate that instead of watching TV, we’ll simply plug ourselves into our computers ‘Matrix Style’, Googling, Skyping, Tweeting and Blogging until our brains melt.
Now while I fully appreciate the uneasiness of the situation, I’m sure there were similar concerns for radio when television first showed up, but over eighty years on, they still both co-exist. Yes, they’ve had to adjust their positioning and make some significant changes along the way to stay relevant. But isn’t that what evolution is all about. We don’t have an ‘either/or’ situation here. We don’t have to choose between TV and the Internet…we can have both…at the same time!
82 percent of WA households now having access to digital television, with free-to-air TV experiencing its highest ‘average daily reach’ growth-spurt in seven years, so TV consumption is looking surprisingly healthy.
And as for the Big Bad Internet? Well granted, Google has over 2.5 Billion page views per day so we know that everyone’s ‘on it’. But a recent survey showed that 67% of internet users went online to look for a product that they originally heard about offline (i.e. through a more traditional media such as TV, Print or Radio).
Now team this up with the fact that Australia has 53% Smart Phone penetration with 80% of these users browsing the internet via their phones, and you really start seeing the potential. The average adult spends 10% of their day on their mobile (Jeeze don’t these people have jobs!?), so there is a very clear evolutionary path that advertising is presented with. TV, Internet and mobile phones are not going to devour each other. Far from it. Instead all three will join forces and make television viewing a more exciting, connective, interactive experience. Rather than passively watching, we will be engaging, conversing, interacting, socializing…and buying stuff.
TV and the Internet will combine. Smart Phone usage will complement. Data will be constantly collated to enhance advertising accuracy and precision marketing will pervade. And all those twiddly bits: the QR codes, the Apps and endless Social Media chatter, will combine to make the whole experience inordinately lucrative and enormous fun!
To quote Todd Sampson, Leo Burnett Australia’s Chief Executive, also known as a GRUEN TRANSFER incumbent (which as we all know is a hugely successful TV show that heavily relies its relationship with internet/social media) “TV is not dead and digital is not the Holy Grail. Effective communication is about appreciating all the tools available to achieve your goal.” And from where I’m sitting…we’ve got some pretty amazing tools to play with!