Long-term potential of the Global Online Media Landscape

Over the weekend, I finally had a chance to read the Nielsen Global Online Media Landscape.  An easy read at 20 pages, the report covers six broad topics including: 1.) Internet Audiences, 2.) Online Video, 3.) Social Media, 4.) Mobile, 5.) Online Display Advertising, and 6.) E-Commerce.

While I highly suggest any Brand Manager read the entire report, here are the nuggets that jumped out to me:

While 2009 will not be a banner year for online advertising revenues, the longer-term prospects for the global online medium continue to be bright: In 2009, online will once again outperform all other media.  China will likely be fl at to down, partially due to the global slowdown but more importantly because it will be hard to match the Olympics-related surge during 2008. The U.S. and Japan will be fl at to up slightly. There will be pockets of significant (25+%) growth, but it will be limited to small-to-mid sized advertising countries such as Brazil, and throughout Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia.

Digital Content / Online Video are among the fastest growing areas of the Online Media Landscape: When you consider these facts, it is no wonder that the TV industry is struggling to find direction:

  • The number of American users frequenting online video destinations has climbed 339 percent since 2003.
  • Time spent on video sites has shot up almost 2,000 percent over the same period.
  • In the last year alone, unique viewers of online video grew 10 percent, the number of streams grew 41 percent, the streams per user grew 27 percent and the total minutes engaged with online video grew 71 percent.
  • One of the more interesting trends in online video is the increasing attraction to long form videos: the total minutes spent watching long-form (average of six-to-eight minutes) is considerably more than minutes spent on short-form, and has grown about 20% in the fi rst two months of 2009.

The impact of Social Media cannot be ignored by marketers: Brands such as Motrin and Domino’s have learned the hard way the impact of Social Media.  It is no wonder when you consider these facts:

  • There are 87 percent more online social media users now than in 2003, with 883 percent more time devoted to those sites.
  • In the last year alone, time spent on social networking sites has surged 73 percent.
  • In February, social network usage exceeded Web-based e-mail usage for the first time.
  • Social networking plays a prominent role with Mothers aged 25-35 with at least one child at home. In addition to e-mail, they are 85% more likely to spend time with Facebook compared to the average online consumer.

Mobile is finally taking its rightful place in the spotlight: Marketers have anticipating the “year of mobile” for almost a decade.  It appears that in 2009, Mobile is finally starting to live up to its potential:

  • In the U.S. today, nearly 50 million mobile subscribers access the Web via their devices on a monthly basis. In the U.S., the mobile Internet audience grew 74% between February 2007 and February 2009.
  • While historically US has been behind in mobile adoption, the US is now one of the leading markets for mobile Internet penetration, with more than 18% of subscribers accessing mobile Web.  This is the highest penetration of mobile subscribers among the markets Nielsen reports mobile Internet adoption.
  • Penetration of smartphones doubled between Q4 2007 and Q4 2008, from 7% of U.S. mobile subscribers to 14%. Penetration of faster 3G devices now stands at 37% of handsets in use in the U.S
  • iPhone users are unique in their use – a hint at the mobile media behaviors of users of next-gen phones to come.  iPhone users, for instance, are more than four times as likely as a typical subscriber to use mobile Internet, six times as likely to use mobile applications and six times as likely to consume mobile video.
  • 12 million U.S. mobile subscribers access their social networks over their phone. At the end of 2008, Facebook was just slightly ahead of MySpace in terms of unique mobile users: 7 million compared to 5.7 million. Mobile usage of social networking sites grew 260% during 2008 in the U.S.

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