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SPECIAL REPORT

Music, video to lead digital content turnaround

Dubai, January 2, 2013

An ever-growing appetite for content and new digital experiences, lead by recorded music and social TV, will return the content industry to its pre-2008 level of economic output by the end of this year, a report said.

Creating Value in the Digital Age, a global survey of more than 6,000 consumers was presented recently by Bain & Company, a global business consulting firm, at the Forum d’Avignon in France. This marks the fourth study of the global content industry presented by Bain at the Forum d’Avignon, which seeks to strengthen the ties between culture, media and the economy.

“Our in-depth look at the state of the media and devices suggests that the field is as turbulent as ever, with innovation creating a fertile ground for new models,” said Patrick Behar, Paris-based Bain partner who heads the firm’s media practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and co- author of the report.

“Far from reaching levels of maturity, content industry sectors show strong signs of a ‘seven-year itch’ looking for the next big thing.”

According to the report, innovations in the content industry remain largely shaped by five underlying trends:

•    Abundance—consumers want access to an “infinite shelf” of content. Proof point: size of book catalogue on Amazon grew nine-times from 2.3 million in 2005 to more than 20 million in 2012

•    Personalization—consumers are increasingly segmented by their interests. Proof point:  Movies selected on Netflix based on recommendation engine have grown 1.3-fold from 60 per cent in 2005 to 75 per cent in 2012

•    Aggregation—fragmented audiences converge toward powerful digital platforms.  Proof point:  Google share of online advertising revenues have grown 1.9-fold from 22 per cent in 2005 to 42 per cent in 2012

•    Community—social networks are becoming key to content choices.  Proof point:  Facebook active users have grown  from 6 million in 2005 to one billion in 2012

•    Engagement—consumers are actively involved in content discovery and curation. Proof point: Crowdfunding raised on Kickstarter has grown 12-fold in two years, from 28 million in 2010 to 330 million in 2012

These five megatrends are affecting key sectors of the content industry in different ways:

Recorded music

Several signs point to the stabilization of the music industry, including Bain’s prediction that digital sales will overtake physical sales in 2012 in most mature markets.

The socialization of music also marches on, as the percentage of consumers using social networks to get music selection recommendations climbs. In the US and UK, that number rose from 40 per cent in 2009 to 48 per cent in 2012, and from 63 per cent in China in 2009 to 70 per cent this year.

Video

Tablets, such as the iPad, are changing the way consumers view video and are ushering in an age of social TV, according to the report.

One-third of consumers in the US use their tablet to watch video, while that number climbs to approximately 40 per cent in the UK, China and Brazil.

Half of tablet owners using television have stopped using television to watch certain types of content, be it news or fiction.

Books

The digital transition of book publishing has only really begun in the US and UK according to Bain. Nearly half of consumers in the US and UK have already read e-books, approximately three e-books per year on average.

Market share varies, based on genre (40 per cent of e-books read in the US are new releases of literature; 46 per cent are other selections of literature), but e-e-books have an overall market share of 15 per cent in the US and 6 per cent in the UK.

E-book clubs seem to attract most interest in Brazil, Russia, India and China, where 70 per cent of consumers would be interested in annual subscription in exchange for a 10-20 per cent discount of the e-book price.

Video Games

Bain predicts that connected consoles will penetrate up to 30 per cent of households by 2014.

While overall, gamers spend 12 per cent of their time playing video games on smart phones (34 per cent on video game consoles), that number jumps to 38 per cent for those gamers who use smart phones as one device for video games, with video game consoles dropping to 27 per cent of the time spent.
Gamers who use portable devices spend more than one-third of their gaming time on casual games, mostly on social networks.

“Digital platforms not only increase the depth of content available to consumers, but also stimulate interest in new experiences,” said Laurent Colombani, Bain partner and co-author of the report.

“While satisfying this appetite present is a daunting challenge for content producers, it presents major opportunities for traditional publishers and digital platforms to become the curators of the digital chaos.” – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Dubai | Video | digital content | Tablets |

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