We’re in the midst of a digital age, spawned by creativity in technology and a growing – sometimes concerning – reliance on technology as a society. Answer me this: when is the last time you drove somewhere without using Waze, Google Maps, or GPS? With that said, it isn’t surprising to a lot of people that everything is becoming more digitized. This includes media and how its consumed.
Huge companies like Amazon have devices that can do anything from playing “Party Up” by DMX (which I can hear my neighbors blaring through the thin walls in my apartment building, and I’m not complaining) to ordering toilet paper from the site, just by asking “Alexa” to do so. I think it’s naive to believe that these devices aren’t listening to the conversations people are having to target ads better, but that’s just me.
So, should it be surprising that media companies are starting to really capitalize on the popularity of consuming content online? I don’t think so. In the United States, 93 percent of adults get their news online, whether that’s desktop or mobile consumption, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.
Digital advertising is also on the up-and-up, and not just in news media. Pew’s report notes that all digital advertising revenue is starting to make up more of total revenue for companies across different fields. Digital ad revenue has increased drastically, from about $32 billion in 2011 to about $72 billion in 2016.
Another interesting and for me, less-than-surprising finding from Pew Research is that mobile digital advertising has seen increased revenue compared to desktop revenue. Like I said, I’m certainly not surprised. The next time you’re in line for coffee or in a crowded room, look up from your smartphone and scan the room. How many other people are glued to their screens? How many smartphones, if they’re not in use, are sitting comfortably on the table in front of their owners? Phones are how people gather a lot of their information: via news sites, podcasts, social media platforms, etc.
I wasn’t surprised to see huge sites like Facebook, Google and Twitter accumulated a lot of digital display advertising revenue, but I was surprised Amazon wasn’t another leader in that category.
Overall, it’s an exciting time to work in the digital space, whether it’s through advertising or media, especially since we see how creative digital ads that are tailored for a specific audience can bring in valuable revenue for the company and advertisers as well. I don’t think I’m alone when I say I believe that Facebook is able to place ads better than anyone they’re competing against, because they have such deep access to the people who are giving them tons of information about their likes, dislikes and patterns of change over time. It’s a really exciting time for companies – especially in the media – to explore ways to reach consumers via digital advertising and generate more revenue that way.