There is a digital media revolution underway. It seems that every time you turn around, some little snot is telling you that you don’t “get it.” You need to adapt or get run over by the Darwinian forces underway. It’s “survival of the fittest” and you’re just too fat, stupid and lazy to realize it.
Then you take a look at thefacts and it’s tough to see what they’re talking about. TV viewership remains at or near all time highs, traditional media companies are not only profitable, but with very respectable margins and after 15 years, digital media, in all of its forms, makes up a fairly small portion of marketers’ budgets.
There is, however, something interesting going on and I’m pretty sure that it’s important. The problem is that it’s not happening in the places we would normally look.
The Media World: 1997 vs. 2010
We’re told that the Internet has changed everything. “All budgets are now being shifted to digital” is a constant refrain touted by triumphant advocates, confident that they have seen the future and it is, indeed, them. It’s one of those things that has been so often repeated that it’s taken as gospel, a homily beyond question or reproach.
However, even a cursory look at the data reveals a much different story.
As two charts above comparing 1997 and 2010 show, digital has taken a big bite out of newspapers, but left the rest of the media world largely unchanged. The details vary slightly by region, but the story is generally consistent across the world.