Information for Business from Lenovo
Matt Meakins
Contributor: Matt Meakins
What’s causing our love affair with digital media?

1. The majority of us are digital omnivores

This particular type of omnivore is someone who owns the complete trifecta of portable computing devices: laptop, smartphone and tablet. According to the survey, this now describes 53 per cent of people aged 14 to 75. The biggest recent trend has been the take-up of tablets by people who already own smartphones and laptops. Favourite apps include weather and social media.

2. Social media continues to spread

Speaking of social media, we simply can’t get enough. We’re checking our social accounts 170 per cent more than we did last year – sometimes more than 20 times daily. This makes sense in light of Facebook’s report that 79 per cent of its 829 million daily active users (as of June 2014) access it through a mobile device. We are also using it to keep up to date with world events, with Deloitte finding that a third of users find social media useful as a news source.

3. We demand (and will pay for) faster broadband

Never mind the National Broadband Network – we just want faster internet, and we want it now. According to Akamai, Australia still ranks only 42nd in the world in average connection speed, behind Russia, Romania and Portugal. Just 29 per cent of Australians are satisfied with their internet connection, and almost 10 per cent are prepared to spend upwards of $20 a month extra to get the speed they want.

4. We prefer content on demand

Fewer of us, younger people especially, are willing to wait for our favourite TV shows. Almost a quarter of survey respondents plan to sign up for an online streaming service in the next two years, and 18 per cent use catch-up services, including web-based streaming, to watch missed episodes. If you like to binge-watch your favourite programs, you’re not alone: 30 per cent of Gen Xers and Millennials watch three or more episodes back to back at least once a month. This trend hasn’t escaped the notice of broadcasters – the new FreeviewPlus mixes traditional broadcasting with broadband technology in a bid to accommodate these new viewing patterns.

5. We don’t want to pay for news

For news, the digital tipping point has already come and gone – 70 per cent of those surveyed by Deloitte always prefer digital newspapers, or only turn to print on weekends. The news is grim for print-news outlets hoping to replace shrinking ad revenue with digital subscriptions as 92 per cent of Australians surveyed won’t pay for news online, believing there’s already enough freely available content. Deloitte notes that digital-only subscriptions have grown by 26 per cent, but that’s from a “very low base”. Don’t count print out of the game just yet, however. We still prefer our magazine content in print format, and more than half of respondents put more stock in print advertising than they do online ads.

6. Content-based advertising is more effective

Deloitte found that advertising is more persuasive when delivered with useful free content. And while newspaper and magazine ads are more effective than online versions, they actually have less influence than a product’s website. Social media shouldn’t be ignored either – it influences the buying decisions of 33 per cent of us, according to Deloitte.

Digital technology is living up to its promise of delivering the content we want, when we want it. For content providers, the challenge is to find new revenue models and delivery systems that work for both them and their customers.

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