Will Digital Overtake Traditional Media Anytime Soon?
You know what makes me absolutely crazy? When people/reporters/“experts” focus on what is currently a small number of users vs. the big opportunity that is rapidly approaching. In the past few months, I have read a multitude of articles saying that digital binge viewing couldn’t possibly kill traditional linear TV, that e-commerce won’t ever present a true threat to brick and mortar sales and that digital advertising won’t ever really be a threat to traditional advertising. I don’t know about you, but I think this is all utterly ridiculous!
Yes, on-demand TV series, e-commerce and digital advertising are still in their infancy. (House of Cards just launched this month on Netflix, but Sundance just announced that they are pre-viewing their new show Rectify on-demand, and poor Best Buy is certainly struggling…) But this doesn’t mean that these digital trends don’t have enormous potential to grow and put their traditional “competition” at risk. I mean, think about it. How many people had a TV when it first launched? Or a DVD player or even an iPod? Do you see where I am going?
I mean, for crying out loud, YouTube just announced that they have hit 1 billion users. (yes, you read that correctly!) every month. How much bigger do they want it to get before these folks admit YouTube is a contender??? And Nielsen recently reported new data that there are now more than 5MM “cord cutters” (people who don’t subscribe to cable services) in the U.S. this year, up from 3MM in 2007. The report also found that approximately 23% of Netflix subscribers had cancelled their cable TV or satellite subscription.
Furthermore, ad agency Carat is now projecting that digital advertising will account for 20% of all ad spending in 2014. When you think about it, that is a tremendous percentage considering that TV generally accounts for about 38%. It seems to me that people like to argue against change and growth, though I can’t really figure out why.
It seems so obvious to me that we are moving toward more digital, more flexible, more consumer-focused and more satisfying. Can someone please explain to me why this would be a bad thing?