Saturday, October 07, 2006

Changes impacting digital media consumption

A colleague recently asked me what I thought the key changes in consumer behaviour in relation to digital media consumption have been over the last few years. I came up with the following six, which conveniently all begin with the letter C...

Connectivity - from mobile phones to laptops and Wi-Fi, the digital consumer has become increasingly connected (more devices, more of the time), which has precipitated more frequent communication/interaction via digital technologies (e.g. e-mail, web, IM, VoIP, SMS).

Choice - the explosion in choice precipitated by the advent of digital has irrevocably altered consumer expectations around choice. The challenge for media companies is to develop services which can successfully compete in an exponentially-growing media marketplace for the attention of an increasingly fickle and fragmented audience.

Control - from iPods to PVRs, consumer expectations about the level of control they can exercise over their media (the when, the where and the how) have changed radically over recent years. Consumers are also exercising greater control over the process of finding media, as the relationship increasingly shifts from push to pull (e.g. web search, PVRs, P2P, podcasting).

Concurrent consumption - the digital generation, especially its youngest members, are becoming increasingly adept at engaging with multiple media sources at the same time (e.g. watching TV whilst surfing the net and Instant Messaging).

Customisation - from mobile wallpapers and ringtones to personalised radio stations and homepages, the digital consumer is increasingly used to being able to tailor their media experiences to cater for their specific tastes and interests.

Creativity - digital technologies (particularly, but not exclusively, the web) are facilitating a mass democratisation of the tools of production which in turn is fuelling an explosion in creativity (e.g. blogs, podcasts, GarageBand, Flickr, MySpace, YouTube).

Would be interested in other peoples thoughts on this...

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