Susan Tormollen

Prediction #9: Traditional and Digital Media Lines Blur

Prediction # 9Until recently, there was a fairly succinct line between the providers of traditional and digital media. Consumers and marketers also divided traditional and digital activities in to distinct pillars.
Now, the lines are blurring.

Users Want both Traditional and Digital Media.

  • Print magazines are beginning to see consistent cross-over readers (readers who read BOTH print and digital versions of a publication). Affinity’s recent American Magazine Study, found that Time Inc., with a collective readership of over 114 million readers, has the largest crossover of publishers reviewed: 30% of their readers, read both digital and print products, 55 percent only use its print products, while 15 percent digitally access Time Inc. content. 1
  • Professionals are not replacing print with digital; they are using both. When professionals were asked which media they use regularly in their work, 77% reported regular use of search engines. Print editions of magazines and e-newsletters related to their industry and profession came in second at 74% each.2  
  • Consumers still prefer print coupons to digital. Users of print coupons outnumber users of digital coupons by a margin of almost 3 to 1; 68% of all U.S. adults said their household uses print coupons, a number that has remained relatively unchanged during the past five years. (Even iPhone users consistently use print coupons). 3

Media Channels and Advertisers are Responding Accordingly.

  •  In 2012 traditional media companies will control about 55% of local online ad dollars, according to a Borrell Associates report. Legacy local media companies still control 92% of all advertising, including half of all locally spent online advertising.4
  • According to The Specialist Reading Show research5, readers, regardless of age or gender, want the choice between hard copy and digital formats. And, publications are responding accordingly. There are numerous examples of traditional media companies now providing digital offerings. An interesting example is Meredith Publication which created print magazine from the ground up to fit consumers evolving preferences and uses.The publication integrates traditional print media, digital content, QR codes, social media, and value-added mobile apps.
  •  National brands link traditional and digital with QR codes.  14 million Americans scanned QR codes on their mobile phones in June 2011, according to comScore. The most popular source of a scanned QR code was a printed magazine or newspaper, with nearly half scanning QR codes from this source. Product packaging was the source of QR code scanning for 35.3 percent of the audience, while 27.4 percent scanned a code from a website on a PC and 23.5 percent scanned codes from a poster/flyer/kiosk.7 
In 2012, the demarcation between traditional and digital media will continue to blur, this evolution

1)      Helps media companies by providing additional channels for revenue

2)     Enhances consumers experience by enabling them to receive the information they want, in the place and format most desired

3)      Most excitingly, provides marketers with more opportunity to unify traditional and digital marketing efforts and deliver integrated campaigns at the national level and the local marketing level. Ultimately, enhancing national brands’ ability to reach consumers where and when the consumer is most receptive to the message.  

Kick off the new marketing year and join us on Tuesday, January 10th to learn how national brands will capitalize on the evolving local marketing landscape. Register for the webcast.

Top 10
1 Folio Mag article. Affinity American Magazine Study.
2 Media Usage Study. Readex Research
3 Experian
4 Screenwerk article. Borrell Associates- Budgeting for 2012: Local Online Advertising Forecasts and Key Growth Opportunities
5 The Media Briefing article. The Specialist Reading Show Research.
6 article
7. comScore

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