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Media Intelligence : 2008 Intelligence
For information on your sector go to www.mediabiznet.com.au ROSS DAWSON Chairman, Future Exploration Network What does the ongoing consolidation in the industry mean for marketers? The fi rst thing to understand is that the most powerful broad trend in media is fragmentation and while mass media remains, it is becoming a smaller and smaller proportion of the overall media landscape. So within that context, what we see is that there is consolidation within particular segments and in some of the larger players. We have seen more and more cross media ownership as regulation has eased. One of the implications for marketers is that they are increasingly being off ered media packages across diff erent segments from the same owner. This is obviously not a new trend, but as we get more and more cross media ownership, more and more marketers are being presented with these off ers to access an audience through a multiplicity of diff erent channels. From a marketer or media buyer perspective, these can only be judged on their individual merits. It really needs to be driven by the media buyer as to what is the appropriate set of media channels to reach their audience with the right message, and that may or may not tally with what is being off ered by some of the larger media owners. “ The most powerful broad trend in media is fragmentation.” – Ross Dawson, Chairman, Future Exploration Network able to make inroads into the Australian market. This means that the independent media company can prosper in a fragmented media landscape with the proliferation of media channels, because increasingly there are mechanisms for the media buyers to fi nd the most appropriate outlet. If you are a large media company, you have a dedicated sales force. If you are a smaller media company, you can’t support the same sales force, however the ad networks are making it easier for smaller outlets to access the most relevant advertisers whatever their industry, approach or where they are located. What does this mean for the independent media company? There are increasing opportunities because of this world of fragmentation and the proliferation of media channels. I think that one of the key points is to look at the mechanisms to meet this fragmented media landscape. The ad networks are an increasingly important issue. They started out with Google as the fi rst in the internet space off ering their advertisers the ability to access many thousands of online sites and in the last year in the US particularly, we have seen the growth of ad networks be driven by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!. In Australia, this is really yet to be signifi cant, and that is partly due to market scale – it is a much smaller market, but it means those global ad networks are Has the rapid growth in the industry been handled well by agencies? It varies tremendously. We are seeing a number of the existing agencies that are doing verywell, either through having the right strengths, hiring the right people, or positioning themselves in their clients’eyes eff ectively. There are many traditional agencies that have not, so far, been so eff ective making the transition. Overlaid on this, we have a proliferation of new players. Some of them have literally emerged in the last year to be significant players. Others have come from web development or similar areas, and because of their digital skills, have transferred that into an advertising or marketing context. We are also seeing consulting fi rms moving into this space. We are seeing a wide variety of agencies that are very competent but there are many that are signifi cantly lagging and are going to fi nd it increasingly challenging unless they make changes in the future. MEDIA Trends + Strategy 29