Is the advent of new technologies, particularly online media, just good for the consumer, not for the business of traditional media properties? Ask broadcast and newspaper media executives and they will tell you how much revenue they are losing to the Internet and how little of it they are making up through their own Internet sales.
Print media’s share of overall U.S. online advertising revenues does not surpass 15% (and for the Hispanic market that figure is much lower). In other words, print media’s share of the online medium is smaller than its share of the overall U.S. advertising pie (approximately 25% of the $200 billion plus pie).
Yet, conservative views and attitudes towards the new technologies will not help, and are in fact counterproductive. What is good for the consumer and the community must also be good for business. Businesses survive or fail depending on whether the goods and services they deliver meet consumer demands. In a free-market economy, it definitely should not be the other way around.
Technological innovation and its consequences on the media business is a process of “creative destruction” to put it in the Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter’s words. This process of “creative destruction” has always had a net positive. TV did not substitute Radio; neither did the invention of video supplant the movies. The emergence of new media has not been a zero-sum game, but rather has added to the pie of overall media consumption. According to research by Veronis & Suhler, Americans consumed an average of 9.5 hours of media daily in 2006. By 2009, Veronis & Suhler forecasts that Americans will add another 10 minutes of media consumption.
The technological revolution that started in the early nineties opened up vast opportunities for media properties, particularly those active in the U.S. Hispanic market. Due to the geographical dispersion of the communities it serves in the U.S. and Latin America, the advent of the online medium has opened large opportunities not just for Internet users, but also for the businesses that serve them. Online advertising technologies like geo-targeting, behavioral targeting and the global access of local media have opened up new business opportunities in content consumption and advertising.
Mobile phone usage, in which Hispanics over-index, and its applications for delivering content, including advertising, also opens up a myriad of opportunities for media and advertisers targeting Spanish-speaking Audiences.
Portada’s upcoming Second Annual Hispanic Digital and Print Media Conference, to be celebrated on October 9 in New York City, is devoted to analyzing and furthering these issues. It’s not one media type or the other. It’s about how different media vehicles can complement and reinforce each other. For the benefit of consumers and businesses, traditional media should embrace and participate in technological innovation and new media, not shun it.