Thursday, September 24, 2009

Social Media - Revolutionizing Major Media

Excerpted from
My View On 'The New Socialism'
by Dave Morgan
The title of this year's OMMA Global was "The New Socialism" and a key focus in the sessions was the growing importance of social media and micro-blogging as a central means of online engagement -- and the role of those services in tapping the $500 billion global spend on offline brand advertising.

Online social media is growing at an extraordinary rate, already representing an extraordinary share of the total time that many consumers spend on media. Those services will become significant factors in reshaping the media and advertising landscape.

Media is changing, not shifting. Distribution, once scarce, is now plentiful. Media exposures, once scare, are now plentiful. Audience attention, once plentiful, is now scarce. These are the facts on the ground and they are changing the underlying foundation of media, not just shifting it from one channel to another.

Business models and pricing models are changing most dramatically. There are no better examples of the changing business and pricing models than newspaper classifieds and Craigslist. The former has made all participants -- sellers, advertisers, subscribers -- pay dearly, while pocketing outsized profit margins. The latter only requires a tiny fraction of the participants to pay relatively little, and still pockets outsize profit margins. Of course, the $100 million that Craigslist might generate this year is only a fraction of the billions of dollars that it displaced.

Platforms changing, too. It's not just about the PC anymore. It's becoming more and more about the person -- on mobile, on connected TV's, viewing digital out-of-home, on e-readers.

Everyone is now media. You no longer need to be CBS, The New York Times or Sports Illustrated to deliver "consumer contact" to a marketer. Everyone and anyone on Twitter, Facebook or a blog can now do that -- and millions and millions are doing that.

Results for you, me and marketers are all that matters. There is a tough road ahead for exposure-based pricing of media. Online media exposures are growing at an extraordinary rate, maybe even exponentially. The future is not about delivering "cheaper, faster" impressions. It is about delivering results -- helping people find things, helping people buy things, helping people sell things.

My Take

Social media is indeed placing more of the share of media - its mindshare and marketshare - into the hands of media consumers. As this occurs then another change will unfold.

The distribution channels of media will change. The effects won't be limited to the struggling print media outlets. Prediction - in 5 years major sports and media events will forego distribution by broadcast media in favor of straight-to-Web technology.

As this occurs, the revenue streams traditionally flowing toward major media outlets will be diverted into new channels. These channels will cut out the traditional recipients. As social media results are measurable, the revenue generated by social media can be paid directly to those producing the results.

That's revolutionary!

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