By Craig Wilson
At the Sydney PubCamp Web 2.0 Media Day much of the discussion and vigorous debate centred around the topic of traditional verses new media. The room largely divided into two camps, with the majority supporting new media. This was fairly predictable given the nature of the day and the web 2.0 focus of the event.
What surprised me was the strength of conviction and belief in one form of media over the other. There seemed to be very little middle-ground.
As a representative of an advertising agency I saw the debate from a very different perspective. We are heavy users of traditional media but very interested observers and emerging users of new media. Our view is definitely that there is room for both and will continue to be for quite some time.
The passionate new media fans clearly believe that new media will swamp, overtake and render extinct the traditional media channels such as television, radio and press. Clearly there is evidence that Gen Y and younger have adopted significantly different media consumption habits than their predecessors. TV viewing in declining, radio and press have experienced a similar downturn in overall consumption.
But I don't believe that indicates imminent extinction. What is happening is that overall media consumption is actually on the increase. Whereas TV once dominated evening habits, it is now merely part of the habit. Increasingly TV might be on but web surfing is happening simultaneously, as are podcasts, Twittering, Plurking and other social networking activities.
As mobile phone speed and technology increases, this medium will also intrude upon our media consumption habits.
Rather than replace one medium with another, Ie online news feeds over news press, we are combining them and devouring more media each day. Each has their place and time.
Witness the brave move by the Nine Network this week to commence live streaming of their News bulletins. Recognising that its harder for viewers to be home for the 6pm bulletin they are now offering the opportunity to catch the bulletin wherever you are.
In the future, some media may finally keel over and die, but for the foreseeable future media consumption will be more fragmented with multiple media being consumed simultaneously.
This represents both a challenge and an opportunity for marketers. The challenge is tracking down relevant consumers in each media channel. The opportunity is to reach more tribal and niched audiences rather than spending large amounts on broad audiences with significant wastage.
The marketers who understand this and avoid parochial new v trad arguments will emerge as the next generation of success stories.