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Radio and the Future of Digital: 2013

Henry Blodget at Business Insider just published an updated look at the future of digital media that has consequences for those who are fighting the audio wars in the radio trenches and elsewhere.

Here are a few highlights – but I encourage you to check out the full presentation.

What rises to the top of the pile of factoids is the increasing importance of mobile as a platform, a destination, a vehicle through which consumers prefer to receive content, and a destination for advertising dollars which will, sooner or later, follow attention and consumption.

Indeed, most online devices are now smartphones or tablets, and that advantage is estimated to grow over time.


In terms of the time consumers spend with various media, the stats show that mobile is the only media time that’s growing. Note the steady decline in consumer time associated with radio in this picture. As I have long argued, radio is not immune to the same media choices and attention dispersion that afflict all other established media.


In fact, social media and music consumption are now mostly mobile activities. 85% of Pandora’s traffic is estimated to come from mobile in 2013 – 80% for Twitter and 65% for Facebook.

And the ultimate mobile device is, to be sure, the car. Below you’ll find estimated forecasts for “connected car revenue.” Note that the majority of this revenue will come from in-vehicle services. Stuff you and I and the advertisers who covet us pay for.

While these dollars pale in comparison to the ad dollars delivered to radio today, there can be no question that some of these dollars will be sourced from that exact same pile. At the same time, some of the dollars (and the services they enable) will be new – an opportunity for anyone delivering content to the car, connected or otherwise.


So the question is: Are you ready for the mobile future? The one where a plethora of media alternatives compete for attention with your brands on the platforms consumers choose, whether you do or not?

Because that mobile future is already here.

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