The Bulletin - - Front Page - BY ALEN DELIC

CON­SUMERS have al­ready aban­doned the idea of dig­i­tal as a sep­a­rate chan­nel, and pub­lish­ers need to fol­low suit, Me­dia­brands ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Henry Ta­jer says.

Mr Ta­jer, one of Aus­tralia’s lead­ing ad­ver­tis­ing fig­ures, says dig­i­tal has al­ready con­verged with other medi­ums, and re­fer­ring to it as a sep­a­rate chan­nel is no longer rel­e­vant.

“Con­sumers, read­ers, view­ers, lis­ten­ers have al­ready con­verged,” he says.

“The mar­ket­place is now play­ing a catch-up to the con­sumer.”

The en­tire ad­ver­tis­ing in­dus­try is in a state of flux, and at­tempt­ing to adapt to this new re­al­ity, but ac­cord­ing to Mr Ta­jer, news­pa­pers are in a very good place to take ad­van­tage of that change.

The key to be­ing at the fore­front of the dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion is know­ing what con­sumers and clients want, and be­ing able to lever­age that change for clients, he says.

“It’s a com­bi­na­tion of reader and con­sumer change,” he says, but “[it is] also the way in which news­pa­per or­gan­i­sa­tions are ac­tu­ally reshaping and re­form­ing their go-to mar­ket strat­egy.”

Mr Ta­jer says this has led to a blur­ring of the lines be­tween dig­i­tal and tra­di­tional plat­forms, and he ex­pects them to stay blurred over the next three to four years.

How­ever af­ter that, he ex­pects some lines to be re­drawn, with con­sumers shift­ing their fo­cus to mo­bile phones and tablets.

“The mo­bile de­vice is prob­a­bly the most sig­nif­i­cant de­blur­ring phe­nom­e­non that we will see,” he says.

“And you can see the ev­i­dence of that is re­ally start­ing to get trac­tion with sim­ple things, like the level of search tak­ing place on mo­bile de­vices.”

The mo­bile plat­form adds a new di­men­sion to old me­dia, giv­ing peo­ple a chance to make things more por­ta­ble, and al­low­ing for a greater pos­si­bil­ity for in­ter­ac­tion than ever be­fore.

Con­sumers have al­ready moved on from re­liance on tra­di­tional plat­forms, and are liv­ing their lives through dig­i­tal’

Tra­di­tion­ally, news­pa­pers can be seen to have had an easy shift to mo­bile, but tele­vi­sion and ra­dio will have an op­por­tu­nity to as­sert them­selves with new de­vel­op­ments in tech­nol­ogy.

Dig­i­tal Mul­ti­me­dia Broad­cast­ing [DMB] tech­nol­ogy has be­gun to take off in cer­tain mar­kets, which gives more power to the mo­bile plat­form than ever be­fore, Mr Ta­jer says.

DMB streams tele­vi­sion di­rectly onto mo­bile de­vices, in a simi- lar way to dig­i­tal ra­dio, but it is not yet avail­able in Aus­tralia.

The tech­nol­ogy is dif­fer­ent to stream­ing online; in­stead of need­ing in­ter­net ac­cess that may in­cur a data fee, dig­i­tal ser­vices are broad­cast like tra­di­tional tele­vi­sion and ra­dio.

“All you need to do is look to mar­kets like Ja­pan and South Korea where tele­vi­sions have, through DMB, in­te­grated into mo­bile de­vices with a fast broad­band net­work, and tech­nol­ogy,” he says.

The pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less, he says, but in or­der for news­pa­pers to best take ad­van­tage of the dig­i­tal and mo­bile rev­o­lu­tions, they must have their fin­ger on the pulse of what the con­sumer wants.

The new au­di­ence in­sights sur­vey emma [En­hanced Me­dia Met­rics Aus­tralia] – to which Me­dia­brands has signed on – goes a long way giv­ing pub­lish­ers and agen­cies that knowl­edge, Mr Ta­jer says.

“Hav­ing a deeper un­der­stand­ing of how a con­sumer tra­verses across phys­i­cal and dig­i­tal plat­forms is a good step for­ward,” he says.

“As other chan­nels evolve them­selves, emma will be in a re­ally ad­van­ta­geous po­si­tion to cap­ture that shift and en­able the mar­ket to un­der­stand the speed of that evo­lu­tion and the im­pact on con­sumers.”

Henry Ta­jer . . . “the mar­ket­place is now play­ing catch-up to the con­sumer”

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