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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - June 2015

Brands, Mobile, and The Customer Who Isn't Behaving The Way We Like

We have all seen how big mobile has become. Everywhere we look, every study we look at, and any business metric we focus on, mobile is the only part of the media that is moving forward. Every other format of media is either in decline or standing still.

Of course, none of this should come as a surprise to you. The rise of mobile has been the most obvious trend we have ever seen. While it had a bit of a sketchy start in the early 2000s, the past five years have all looked like this.

The only thing surprising here is that the overall media consumption trend is going up as a whole. Mobile is actually outgrowing the market itself with the result is that people now spend 10% more time consuming media overall than just five years ago. That's a full hour more of media than before, every day.

And keep in mind that the above graph only illustrates media consumption by what eMarketer calls 'Major Media', so the real growth of mobile (and digital) is much, much higher.

The only question now is how much more mobile will grow. How much more of desktop will it take? Will it take over radio? How much of TV will become mobile? And of course, you can be pretty sure it will grab the last remaining remnants of newspapers and magazines.

Note: It's not a one to one conversion. The above graph doesn't account for multitasking. A person watching one hour of TV while simultaneously using her mobile counts as one hour for TV and one hour for mobile. There is a considerable overlap between each format.

It won't grow forever, though. There are only 24 hours per day, and we are already spending about 3 hours on mobile per day. That's 20% of the time that we are awake. That's a crazy number.

Back in 2011, I wrote two articles about this shift which are still as relevant today as they were back then. In each of them, I explain how you need to approach your mobile strategy. That it's not really about the format as much as it is about how people use it.

In other words, mobile is not about a device. It's about you. But take a look at them.

In this article, we are going to take this a step further and talk about the new mobile behavior that has emerged. A behavior that to many people seems superficial, shallow, short-term, and impulsive, but isn't.

What we have done is that we have eliminated another decision point in our lives, and that has fundamentally changed how we interact. And it's this change that will form the future of media as we know it.

So, let's look at that.

What if everyone had a BrainPal?

Before we start to talk specifically about the new mobile, let me put you into the right mindset by taking you on a short journey into the world of science fiction. Imagine if everyone had a BrainPal?

What is a BrainPal, you ask?

It's a concept from John Scalzi's excellent book "Old Man's War". In it, an old guy is transferred to a new and enhanced body, which comes with a built in computer system linked directly into his brain.

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What is Baekdal?

Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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