Businesses Need to Prepare for Consumers Who Balance Traditional and Digital Media Usage


NEW YORK—Even with most traditional media “still retain[ing] significant audiences,” business owners and marketers today must develop plans to engage with consumers and patients who increasingly and deftly combine their use of traditional and digital media to produce a better user experience, according to a new report on global media from the research firm eMarketer.

“In 2017, no aspect of business or communication remains entirely independent of digital media,” the New York-based firm noted in its report, “2017 Global Media Intelligence Report.”

“Advertisers, marketers, content owners and retailers—just to name a few—now operate in a world where digital devices and platforms continue to evolve at astonishing speed.”

Though most traditional media still retain significant audiences, consumers are increasingly combining traditional and digital media to access information and entertainment, buy products and services, and to communicate with family, friends, businesses and other organizations, according to the report.

Moreover, the immediacy of instant messaging and digital downloads has drastically recalibrated consumer expectations, encouraging an on-demand mindset and greater consumption of media content online.

Some key trends stand out, according to eMarketer:

  • Globally, television still has the edge over other media in terms of reach. But that is changing fast. In many nations—including the U.S.—mobile devices are even more widespread than television.
  • Similarly, there are several countries, such as Denmark and the Philippines, where internet penetration has passed that of TV. Australia, Canada, Finland and Singapore represent a further stage of digital evolution, in which TV usage lags behind both internet and mobile penetration.
  • Considering these dynamics, it’s not surprising that the share of people accessing the internet via mobile devices is climbing, while the share going online via desktops and laptops declines. To date, mobile access to the web hasn’t overtaken PC access in many places, but the underlying trend points in that direction.
  • Research also shows that many gender gaps in digital media and device use that were quite pronounced even a couple of years ago are now vanishing—confirmation that females in most countries are gradually achieving parity by these measures.

According to eMarketer, the Global Media Report is the definitive report for all business executives who need to stay on top of digital trends worldwide. The executive summary of the report can be viewed here.