Media evolution

The latest Veronis Suhler report on the state of media says that online advertising will be bigger than newspaper advertisting in the U.S. — $62 billion — by 2011; this already happened in the UK. An inexorable path.

The report also says that our total media usage is declining, though what’s interesting to me is that part of this, they say, comes from efficiency and that’s an important concept in the morphing of media: The internet exposes the inefficiencies of old media for both “consumers” and advertisers. The internet makes direct connections. Note also in the report that we are taking in less ad-supported media because there is more media without ads and also, again, because we can connect directly to information around advertising.

For the first time since 1997, consumers spent less time with media in 2006 than they did the previous year, as media usage per person declined 0.5% to 3,530 hours, due to changing consumer behaviors and digital media efficiencies, according to the VSS Forecast. The drop in consumer media usage was driven by the continued migration of consumers to digital alternatives for news, information and entertainment, which require less time investment than their traditional media counterparts. For example, consumers typically watch broadcast or cable television at least 30 minutes per session while they spend as little as five to seven minutes viewing consumer-generated video clips online. . . .

In addition to shifting their attention to alternative media, consumers are also migrating away from advertising-supported media, such as broadcast TV and newspapers, to consumer-supported platforms, such as cable TV and videogames. Time spent with consumer-supported media grew at a CAGR of 19.8 percent from 2001 to 2006, while time spent with ad-supported media declined 6.3 percent in the period.

  • Overall media time may be declining but how people are spending that time is changing. Time spent with recorded music continues to grow and this is creating a large new advertising opportunity.

    Check out the Ad-Supported Music Central blog:

  • I wonder if this report, if the trend continues, even more strongly conveys the idea that advertising is not dead, per se, (or heading in that direct, necessarily) but that it will have to come to terms with advertisers (it seems) greatest fear, not being able to push unwanted advertising upon the (formerly) more resigned consumer.

    I think what Dave Winer said eons ago in an interview with Amanda Congdon from Rocketboom was prophetic. Advertising will morph into being more like content, educational and entertaining, and most important, it will be the consumer that makes the decision whether they want to ingest it.

    Or, maybe the report means nothing of the kind. Media consumption may be down because Americans whose productivity continues to climb, are simply exhausted, and have no energy for as much media indulgence as before.

    I hope for the former!

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  • I agree with Fred.
    The migration to the web is for many reasons.
    The economical was the beginning, then other factors kept the readers.
    One of them is the fact that it is the user who choses what and how and when and can say no to unwanted ads, or just ignore them.
    To be succesful the advertisement must look more like entertainment than suggestion.
    The user is not anymore a passive consumer, he likes to decide and likes to interact.
    That explains the huge success of Social Networks.
    The marketing of the future has to keep that in mind.

  • The “greatest fear” of the advertisers I’ve met (several thousand to date) is not “being [unable] to push unwanted advertising upon the (formerly) more resigned consumer.”

    Their fear is that their money will be wasted and they won’t get no satisfaction. (It happens a lot.)

    That’s the fear that’s driving this change in advertising spending.

  • And this is really no surprise at all.

    When a portal user, or anyone seeking out news directly, hits a home page, there are all the story headlines for them to choose from. A few clicks, and the specific pieces they want are read.

    What is pushing the expansion of advertising spending is more intelligent design in advertising, as well as targeting specific demographics. Those wonderful ‘cookies’ that get left on our machines enable sophisticated software to glean our browsing habits, supplying adverstising more directly targeted to specific consumers’ browsing habits and intersts. AND, advertising designers and studios are shying away from insulting our intelligence and are focusing instead on blending entertainment into the advertising they create. This draws the viewer in, and guarantees that there will be a memory trigger left behind after the laughter, or whatever, has passed…

    The best ads are so good that you wish they’d go ON a bit further. That is the real artistry in advertising. It’s going to help us, the people who WORK in advertising, also – Darwin in action – paring out the HACKS and leaving the people with talent. Nobody likes an ad that bludgeons you with the facts..or screams at you to ‘BUY!’ It’s far better to entertain…

  • Peter Stabler


    Any idea what the margin of error on this data may be?

    Also, they forecast low single digit growth for newspaper advertising in U.S. over the next several years.

    Given recent results from several Npp companies (ad revenue down as much as 12% y/y), somehow I just don’t see it.

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