2010: Resurgence for Digital Media in the Wake of the Recession


I mentioned previously this interesting research from Comscore, and I wanted to highlight more general trends about digital media coming out of it.
Comscore outlines that the digital media industry responded with significant growth across various media platforms to the wake of the recession. As they say: 

“Industry innovations brought an unprecedented number of options to consumers as digital media continued to weave itself even tighter into the fabric of Americans’ daily lives.” — comScore

Key findings about consumer trends, highlighted in the report, include:
  • Following 2 years of depressed consumer discretionary spending, the economy showed signs of improvement, leading to positive growth for the e-commerce market. Total U.S. e-commerce spending reached $227.6 billion in 2010, up 9 percent versus the previous year. Travel e-commerce spending grew 6 percent to $85.2 billion, while retail (non-travel) e-commerce spending jumped 10 percent to $142.5 billion for the year.
  • Social networking continued to gain momentum throughout 2010, with 9 out of every 10 U.S. Internet users now visiting a social networking site in a month, and the average Internet user spending more than 4 hours on these sites each month. Nearly 1 out of every 8 minutes online is spent on Facebook.
  • The U.S. core search market grew 12 percent overall in 2010, driven by a 4-percent increase in unique searchers and an 8-percent increase in the number of search queries per searcher.
  • U.S. Internet users received a total of 4.9 trillion display ads in 2010 with display ad impressions growing 23 percent in December 2010 versus December 2009. Social networking sites, which now account for more than one-third of all display ad impressions, were a significant driver of growth in the display ad market in 2010.
  • In December 2010, the average American spent more than 14 hours watching online video, a 12-percent increase from the prior year, and streamed a record 201 videos, an 8-percent increase.
  • Major milestones in mobile were crossed during the year as smartphones reached 1 in 4 mobile subscribers and 3G penetration crossed the 50 percent threshold. Approximately 47 percent of mobile subscribers are now connected Internet media users (via browsers, applications or downloaded content), up 8 percentage points from the previous year.

In short, businesses should consider these aspects of Digital Media in their strategies to be successful in the coming years:

  1. e-commerce
  2. Social Media Presence
  3. Search
  4. Advertising 
  5. Video on line as convergence with traditional TV continues to blur
  6. Mobile media for both consumption and as an alternative e-commerce platform

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