May 14, 2008

Social Networking To The Masses

Mitch Joel posed a scary question (to some) on his blog the other night – is Prime Time All The Time?

As we continue in our user produced content world, mass marketing companies are beginning to embrace social networking and online technologies.

Old thinking suggested it’s easier to splash billboards around town and hope customers connect to your message on their way to work – rather than the arduous task of finding where they may be online.

Media and the music industry are going through rapid change. The music labels are still wrapping their heads around free music for database and branding opportunities. Television and Radio are affected by depleting fragmented audience shares which are tough to monitor.

Television has adopted the video on demand model which is still in its infancy. You can find audience by allowing them to deconstruct your content, but you must be patient when you give them the choice. Advertisers are scrambling to embrace the concept that eyeballs aren’t watching the screen when they want them to. And great television shows are being canceled because of the DVR revolution. It’s not about 30’s and 60’s anymore.

Radio is adopting PPM technology to measure listening habits differently – and hopefully more accurately. In Philadelphia and Houston, personal people meters have been in play for over two years. The findings show that people listen to radio for different reasons than we thought, they listen to more radio choices than we guessed, and they don’t listen to or consume the content when and how we want them to consume it.

We may have rested too much on averages and generalizations.

Leaders like Mitch must blaze the path despite naysayers and laggards who don’t see enough evidence that he’s right. That’s why leading a charge can be lonely work until the “I knew all along” crowd catches up.


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