The Future of Digital Media

13 April 2017

Company updates

For the last 20 years digital media has disrupted the print and radio industries, and for the next 20 years it is going to disrupt TV.

While traditional TV viewership continues to decline, paid subscription networks are exploding with on demand services like Netflix and Amazon Prime seeing their subscriber base skyrocket. In the USA, Netflix is watched more hours per month than any other TV network. But when you consider people can now watch anything they want, at any time, in any place, on a multitude of devices, the rapid evolution of digital media is starting to look more like a mass extinction event.

Just as declining audiences and readership has forced the print and radio industries to consolidate, many predict the same for traditional TV with it slowly becoming a niche medium across demographics. The question is, what will fill the hole left by the television set, and what will be the next mass media consumption? While wearable technology has potential, such as Samsung Gear and the move towards Virtual Reality, consumer adoption has been low so far meaning content creators can’t yet justify the investment.

One thing people can’t get enough of however, is cat memes. By which me mean social video.

Rapid consumption mode

In the first quarter of 2016 Facebook was receiving over 12 billion daily video views, with its closest rival Snapchat receiving 10 billion. Social video is mobile by definition. It can travel across platforms, with optional sound and varying formats allowing intimate consumption, and instant conversation and shareability. But to change consumer behaviour and compel action, social video must also be entertaining and evocative. Considering that the average viewing time across the 100 million hours of video watched each day is only 1.7 seconds, agencies need to start thinking – and creating – mobile first.

Speaking in 2016, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Marketing Solutions, Carolyn Everson believes that while the consumer has moved to mobile, “I do not think that the industry is at a point where it is planning creative in such a way that puts mobile first. Consumers are in this rapid-consumption mode, which means we have to rethink what are we going to do for thumb-stopping creative, to get consumers to stop and pay attention. We have to think mobile as if it’s 1955 and we’re running the first few TV ads.”

In 2017 brands are not competing against other brands. They’re competing with the whole internet – and that’s a lot of noise to cut through. Now that consumers have access to live video, augmented reality and apps like Boomerang and Hyperlapse, everyone is a content creator, and everyone is ‘always on’. But while consumers are more likely to engage with UGC over branded content, it is becoming even harder to stand out on social even working with influencers. A bigger talent pool of creators distils authenticity, with many brands mistaking large social followings for genuine influence.

At Outpost, we know social video isn’t as simple as it sounds. But we also practice what we preach. Read how we’ve used influencer marketing and social video in our last two annual campaigns for Luxaflex.