Consumers are embracing new media experiences with staggering speed, with digital transformation driving audience fragmentation to a level not seen before, while impacting all segments, says PricewaterhouseCoopers in its Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2010-2014.
But that’s not necessarily bad news.
“Some companies perceive the continuing fragmentation of the market as a threat, but it should be seized upon as an opportunity,” says Marcel Fenez, global leader of PwC’s entertainment & media practice. “It offers companies the chance for creativity around the approaches to their buyers, be it via traditional channels to market or, more importantly, by embracing social media. Either way, it’s imperative that they capture the hearts, minds and money of these consumers.”
The consultancy says it is up to the industry to anticipate and identify where they are heading and pre-empt the needs and wants of consumers. It believes that three themes will emerge from changing consumer behaviour:
The rising power of mobility and devices. Consumers are increasingly demanding ubiquity, with content flowing across different devices to support ever-greater interactivity and convenience. They are using mobile in new ways, and downloading ever-increasing numbers of mobile apps to support their lifestyles. The ability to consume and interact with content anywhere, anytime – and to share and discuss that content experience with other people via social networks – will become an increasingly integral part of people’s lives.
The growing dominance of the Internet experience over all content consumption. Using the Net is one of the great unifying experiences of the current era for consumers everywhere – and their expectation of Internet-style interactivity and access to content will continue to expand across media consumption. This trend is initially at its clearest in TV, though people are already consuming magazines and newspapers on Internet-enabled tablets, and streaming personalised music services such as Pandora in preference to buying physical CDs, or even digital downloads.
Increasing engagement and readiness to pay for content – driven by better consumption experiences and convenience. Ongoing fragmentation means that media offerings will need greater consumer engagement and quality to get themselves heard – and paid. Consumers are more willing to pay for content when accompanied by convenience and flexibility in usage, personalisation , and/or a differentiated experience that cannot be created elsewhere.
“Historically reading books or newspapers has been a solitary activity,” says Fenez. “However, the combination of digital access, mobility and social networking is seeing consumption of all forms of media migrate from a solo activity towards being a social experience with viewers use social networking forums to discuss and share their views and content.”