Changing Media Choices
There is a major cultural shift occurring in how people use media for entertainment, news and information. Many traditional media outlets, such as newspapers and major commercial television networks, are seeing their customer base eroded by the emergence of new media outlets. The Internet has become the major driver of this change. In particular, a number of important applications tied to the Internet are creating new media outlets and drawing the attention of many, mostly younger, consumers. Examples include:
- Podcasting Audio – This involves delivering programming via downloadable online audio that can be listened to on music players, such as Apple’s iPod. Many news websites and even other information site, such as blogs, offer free downloadable audio programming.
- Podcasting Video – While audio downloading has been available for some time, the downloading of video to small, handheld devices, including cellphones, is in its infancy. Many television networks are now experimenting with making their programming available for download, albeit, for a fee.
- RSS Feeds – This is an Internet information distribution technology that allows for news and content to be delivered instantly to anyone who has signed up for delivery. Clearly those registering for RSS feeds represent a highly targeted market since they requested the content.
- Networked Gaming – While gaming systems have been around for some time, gaming systems attached to the Internet for group play is relatively new and becoming more practical as more people move to faster Internet connections. This type of setup will soon allow marketers to insert special content, such as advertising, within game play.
For marketers these new technologies should be monitored closely as they become accepted alternatives to traditional media outlets. While these technologies are currently not major outlets for advertising, they may soon offer such opportunity. As these technologies gain momentum and move into mainstream acceptance marketers may need to consider shifting advertising spending.
Marketers should also be aware that new media outlets will continue to emerge as new applications are developed. The bottom line for marketers is they must stay informed of new developments and understand how their customers are using these in ways that may offer advertising opportunities.