This article originally appeared in The National.
Not only are more people using their smartphones and tablets more to consume media, but increasingly they prefer content that is customised for those mobile forms – short videos, non-linear games and new models for streaming music.
These are among the findings of a survey by Bain & Co of more than 7,000 consumers in Europe, the United States and the Brics countries. We found that a new segment of content consumers, mostly under 25, prefer native digital media – and that is forcing media companies to rethink content and distribution. These digital-savvy consumers already outnumber analogue diehards, and content formats and business models created for them are quickly gaining momentum even though the profitability of these new models remains sporadic.
The rapid uptake of mobile devices, connected on ever-faster communication networks, makes this shift possible. In developed countries, 70 per cent of consumers own smartphones and 47 per cent have tablets. Those numbers are higher for younger people – 84 per cent of 15- to 18-year-olds own a smartphone in those countries. Customers in developing markets are catching up quickly – 58 per cent of those in Brazil and Russia and 36 per cent in China and India said they owned at least one smartphone.
This level of penetration is quickly changing the ways that people consume media. In developed economies, 63 per cent of adults over 35 watch video online, 93 per cent listen to digital music and 34 per cent read e-books. The percentages for younger consumers are once again even higher – 87 per cent of consumers between 15 and 25 watch video online, 98 per cent listen to digital music and 46 per cent read e-books. In fact, 20 per cent of 15 to 18-year-olds in developed markets said they never used traditional media to watch videos, three times more than for respondents over 35.