February 25, 2008

Stats, stats and more stats – part 1

Ian Rowley and Kevin Johnson presented a range of stats and ‘facts’ about digital media at the Skills Session on the 19th. Following a request for some of the data – here is the first stat.

1. Pace of change:

- 40 years for 50m to own a radio
- 16 years for 50m to own a PC
- 5 years for 50m to be on the internet
- UK consumers spend an average of 50 hours a week on the phone, surfing the internet, watching TV or listening to the radio (Ofcom).

Whilst this may surprise some people I don’t know how much of an eye-opener this stat is. Does this just apply to the web? How many years did it take for 50 million vaccuum cleaners to be sold as opposed to 50m Dyson’s?

What is interesting though is the rate at which services are emerging and gaining mass audiences. YouTube took about 18 months to go from nothing to global phenomenon and serious player. Google has garnered a market position in a fraction of the time it took Microsoft to do so.

What we have not seen, at least in the last 3-4 years (don’t remind me of the last bubble burst, gah! The scars still run deep…), is the flip side of this – rapid growth can be matched by rapid collapse. Facebook skirted with this when they launched their first major attempt at monetising their membership with social ads. Indeed, Facebook has just had it’s first DROP in monthly usage. Whilst wailing and gnashing of teeth may be premature, it’s a useful reminder that today’s technological success story can easily be tomorrow’s 8-track.

However, not to undermine myself too much one can see that we have moved on from the situation 5 years ago where investment in online video/audio could be seen as a risky venture to one where the infrastructure positively demands its consideration. I guess the story in the stat above is not what the hardware is but the impact it has in terms of the availability of tools. After all – having a radio does not make you a radio producer. Having a PC with a broadband connection does.

I suppose its the difference between being sold a vaccuum cleaner and being sold a CAD package and all the bits you need to make a customised dust-kicking suction monster. With go faster stripes.


- One comment Not publicly viewable

  1. Sam Broadband

    The consumer uptake of the internet has occured at the quickest rate in history. I think this will only increase, already we are seeing the convergence of mobile phones and television onto the internet. Who knows what will be next.

    28 Feb 2008, 23:39


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