It is important to realise that the new environment of mass media broadband communications (opening up the Digital Media market) is threatening the world of vested interests that have until now ruled the industrial world. This includes the banks, telcos, media empires, the music industry and other pillars of our economy. These organisations are committed to providing goods and services to the market, on their own, often (semi) monopolistic, terms.
In the new environment the user will play a far more important role. Customers want to participate in the process of buying and selling, much like the market places that have existed for hundreds of years, and clearly the vested interests have great problems with the new order. The telcos have been dragged, kicking and screaming, into competition. The banks initially resisted the introduction of open e-commerce systems. The Napstar success and consequent court cases are a clear indication that the music industry was facing its own problems. The 20-year-old unsuccessful battle to introduce High Definition TV (HDTV) in the USA and the power of the broadcasters in Australia to prevent the introduction of datacasting are examples in the media industry.
While these vested interests might have won some early victories, they signify an attitude that can only widen the gap between themselves and their customers. And so in the end, when given the choice, these customers will desert the incumbents en masse. They might be able to dominate the access market but not the content/services market. It will be the broadband upgrade of the Internet that will create the environment for this to happen, within the next five, very short, years.
For a while the telecom industry tried to set the agenda by promoting its mobile networks as the way forward for new content services. However, they failed to recognise the importance of other major developments:
- The killer application on mobile is voice. The reason the mobile market was growing so rapidly was simply that people love to chat and the mobile phone is an extremely well-adapted tool for this purpose. People are mobile beings and a mobile phone fits nicely into the pattern.
- The Internet however, has two applications: firstly email which, like mobile, is very much linked to people’s insatiable demand for communication, and secondly – and this notion is not widely taken into account – the capacity of the Internet to allow users to pursue their particular interests without being bombarded with unwanted material from broadcasters, magazines and newspapers.
- New developments will be based on agile new generation technologies, cleverly distributing services to residents and businesses, rather than on ‘big-iron’ technologies aimed at distributing large amounts of capacity.
- Marketing and advertising are moving away from product (technology) oriented messages, to messages regarding life style, emotions and cultural aspects of the products and service, as well as the total context in which they play their role. These non-tangible elements are increasingly becoming more important to customers.
Online users and other media
Other media used by online users% of online users
Watch DVD movies64%
Record TV shows for later playback51%
Watch live TV programming40%
Pause and rewind live TV programming38%
Manage and listen to digital music34%
Manage and view digital photos32%
Play PC video games26%
Play parlour games24%
None of the above25%
(Source: Paul Budde Communication)
More statistics and analyses of the Australian telecoms market will be released at our annual ‘State of the Industry’ Roundtables:
Australian Telco Market moving into 2007
‘State of the Industry’ Roundtables with Paul Budde
Sydney – Wednesday 27 September 2006
Melbourne – Thursday 28 September 2006
Presentations and discussions will mainly concentrate on the latest results of our new Australian reports that we will publish at the same time, covering:
Analyses of the Australian Telecommunications Industry (Revenues, Market shares, Trends and Developments) Analyses of Telstra, Optus, AAPT, Vodafone and Hutchison.
Key industry and market developments – state of the industry
Statistics, Trends and developments in fixed voice, data, mobile and broadband
Forecasting broadband, Triple Play, NGNs, FttH, VoIP and other fixed network developments
Forecasting mobile data, content and personal wireless developments
I will bring you up to date regarding the latest research data and, perhaps more importantly, analyse the market with you – highlighting the areas where opportunities exist.
For agenda and more information see: here.
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