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Demographic and advertising trends send mixed message to traditional media

Demographic and advertising trends send mixed message to traditional media

Consulting firm Deloitte has released a report showing that the 14-25 demographic watches a considerable amount less television than its older peers. Whereas Generation X (26-42) watches 19.2 hours of TV per week, the Millennial generation average a mere 10.5 hours in front of the boob tube. Still, this generation consumes the most media of any other demographic. Surprising figures? Not really.

With all of the interactive options Millennials have (video games, social media, mobile phones, MP3 players, etc.), sitting in front of a screen controlled by traditional "gatekeepers" seems less appealing. Getting their fingers dirty on newsprint that doesn't give the chance to talk back, even more so. Obviously, the trend of already declining newspaper circulations will only perpetuate as Millennials grow older and their grandparents pass-on.

But all is not negative for traditional media, whose audiences have never been bigger thanks to their Internet presence. The Bivings Group recently released a report indiciating that the large majority of newspapers are "getting it" on the Web, integrating social media and RSS, eliminating registration pages and opening their articles to reader comments.

An even brighter light shines on these promising developments when considering Internet ad spend. UK based-bank Barclay's released its US ad forecasts this week, expecting a 6.1% increase in Internet advertising. Although this rate is a huge drop from the 20-30% increases Internet advertising has been experiencing for several years, the global economic crisis combined with the fact that TV and newspaper advertising will drop 10% and 17% respectively means Internet-based companies can remain optimistic that ad revenues will continue to fill their coffers.

Of course, even increasing Internet revenues are not coming close to making up for lost ad revenues of media companies through traditional outlets. Content production and journalism in general are suffering because of massive staff layoffs. And perhaps to make things worse, Barclay's predicts that the bulk of Internet ad jump in 2009 will go to search, up 20%, compared with a 4% rise in display advertising. Some traditional media companies may not like it, but they're going to have to share more revenues with Google and the like. Still, that's not all bad. As they leave the paper on the doorstep and the TV off, most Millennials only find traditional media through Google to begin with, which may mean search engines are the only way traditional media houses will remain relevant.

Sources: Reuters through European Journalism Centre, Seeking Alpha, Read Write Web



John Burke


2008-12-19 10:19

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