Just How Much Has Mass Media Decayed?


Your Guess is As Good As mine
Recently a media ‘watchdog’ released figures from survey findings in Singapore on mass media. I did wonder if they had conducted their survey at Senior Citizen’s corners at Hougang or Potong Pasir.

Why?

I find their findings too incredible to be credible. Mass media? Doing well? Let the truth be Told!

Please explain the closures of 6 magazine titles over the last 4 years.
Please explain the thinning sections of newspapers over the last 2 years.
Please explain the huge numbers of websites that companies set up and then leave defunct?
Please explain the high number of in-house ads and barter-sponsored ads on radio?
Please explain the huge discounts given now for TV spots as compared to 3 years ago?

Wanna know the real story?
 

UsedNewspapers.jpg picture by Viviobluerex
Newspapers are mostly read by retirees these days who are perceived as regular ‘Joes’ on the street. With internet kiosks readily available for free at some fast food outlets and the latest news and views presented with just a click of the mouse, will executives still risk getting their hands dirty on ink-printed newspapers? News has evolved to be even more portable with handheld devices (PDAs and smart phones), so tell me which executives’ handphones cannot get instant news feeds today? Will PMEBs still buy newspapers? Now, if you tell me there are people who still buy newspapers, I agree. But who are these people? Are these the people you want to advertise Rolex or BMW to?

Think. Think Again.

One incident that is still etched in my mind was when I observed a pair of foreigners buying a local daily newspaper about a month ago. The minute they stepped out of the convenience store, I saw them throwing the main sections away, but retaining just the ‘Recruitment’ section. Amused, I decided to loiter nearby these two and observe the action.
 
Obviously they were looking for jobs. Once done with whatever, they tore out the supposedly selected sections and threw the rest away. Then one of them said to the other; "Not much, wasted 80 cents. We go jobstreet.com or jobsdb.com better, got more choices." and with that, they left.

That left me thinking, WHY, in the first place, did they buy the newspapers?

As someone from the management level in my company, I had forgotten how newspaper looks like these days. I rely heavily on internet news and mobile news. Then I remembered reading another survey done by an international body on internet users’ behaviour and trends.

The number ONE search was on PORN. Yes, you got it. PORN. So where does online advertising come in? The ratio stands at (70% PORN Search, 20% BLOGs & SOCIAL, 10% others) Alarmingly shocking, but true! A very simple calculation, if millions surf YouTube and YouTube is only a small percentage of the ‘10% Others’ just imagine how much is the online PORN industry worth!

Tell me, do you read banner ads on websites?
Do you even take notice of blinking ad panels on a website?
Do you spend time reading contents on a POP-Up windows? Or do you close the box? Have you ever responded to an online deal that is too good to be true? Well, It probably is. Scams and Spams have made internet users more defensive and careful. It also ‘accidentally’ taints online ads.

So who really believes online advertising today? The advertisers? Or the Consumers?

What advertising still works online then?

Porn Sites ads still work pretty well, especially when I chat with my peers that are the general reaction/response that I’ve gotten thus far.

InternetKills.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

Scores of magazines displayed on shelves of bookstores and news stands, well, that is probably the best place for them. They mostly remained ‘Shelved’. Yes, there may be browsers, lots of browsers, but how often do you see someone actually picking up a magazine and paying for it?

I do not dispute that most magazines readers are occasional readers with magazines as a passed-on material resource or as a while-waiting-companion. Does this mean that advertisers are paying for advertisements that get read only ‘occasionally’? A friend from the publishing industry shared with me that subscriptions have dropped the most within the last 2 years. Their company even removed the position for "Circulation & Subscriptions Manager" and had the job taken over by the Marketing & Promotions department.

Personally I do buy magazines once in a blue moon. I am a fan of automotive magazines, and even though I can get better and real-time reviews on YouTube, car websites and car enthusiast’s forums, I still buy the print magazines. Why do I buy them, you may ask? Well, if I don’t buy once a while, very soon, another publisher will be heading south and falling victim to other alternative sources of information, which are easily attained. Then who else will print my favourite cars in colour paperbacks?

Magazineleftonshelves.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

TV Commercials? No thanks. Don’t get me wrong. I love TV Commercial breaks. This is the best time I can visit the restroom, pick up a snack, get a drink, make a call, check on my downloads/updates on my PC and then return to the couch when the TV Commercial ends. Quite good timing if you ask me.

Will that add value to advertisers?

TVforcats.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

Lastly, someone was talking to me about having heard something on the radio recently.
The word "Radio" suddenly woke me up. You mean Radio still exists today? With mp3 players that come with an average storage space of 32GB these days, we pick the songs we want to listen, and skip those that do not fit into our mood at the point of listening. I am one of those who enjoy songs without interruption from a DJ or advertisements. You are a different breed or inhuman if you like to be interrupted while enjoying your little music escapade. In the first place, why you do switch on the radio? For music, right? Can you dare tell me you switch on the radio for advertisements? I am sure you won’t. The ‘new’ radio today is none other than mp3 and mp4 players.

Want to know the latest hits? Go to YouTube first and find out, then get the song from pay per download sites. Radio is the ‘last-resort-gadget’ today.
Thenewradio.jpg picture by Viviobluerex

Mass media is still targeting at different niches at one go.
Which works perfectly fine.
But niche advertisers prefer using a media that understands their niche audiences.

Advertising landscape has changed so much, I wonder if the advertisers have been informed and updated. . . .or are they paying thousands and thousands of dollars to hear what they want to hear?

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