Information and its delivery—whether through verbal or written communication—have undergone dramatic shifts over the ages, from the invention of Gutenberg's printing press to the telephone. But within a shorter timeframe, the evolution from print media to digital formats has accelerated the way people acquire news, entertainment, and knowledge.
Today, we've become dependent on digital tools to communicate and accelerate our access to information and entertainment.
A PwC Global Entertainment and Media Outlook report finds that mobile remains the primary way people access content, with a projected increase in mobile app use and video streaming accounting for 52% of all US digital revenue by 2022. Significantly, OTT (over-the-top models) will grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 8.8% with a value of $30.6 billion during this time.
A saturation of digitized media formats and the emergence of tech trends mean media strategies need to remain agile and democratized. The remainder of this article discusses how digital media has been able to surpass print media, and what business models can help to keep digital media successful now and in the future.
From Print to Pixels: The Digital Disruption
In recent years, digital media formats have upended traditional print mediums, such as newspapers. Traditional print media allowed journalists to act as gatekeepers by reporting fact-based, reader-friendly stories. Yet, limitations of accessibility and flexibility have sidelined print with the increasing adoption of mobile and streaming devices.
According to this year's Zenith Media Consumption Forecast, from 2011 to 2018 time spent reading printed newspapers and magazines declined 45% and 56%, respectively.
In the past several years, a confluence of changing reading habits, declining print ad revenue and ad targeting flexibility, less investing support, and tech innovations like automation have continuously diverted sustainable models of print media. Advances in video, mobile, and other wireless technologies have spearheaded the meteoric rise of streaming services. Now, with a host of new delivery mediums, specifically the value shift to platforms and technologies—including mobile—many digital media outlets run on variable cost, with the opportunity to run free or affordable access to consumers.