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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - November 2012

The Shift from Single Consumption to Multi Consumption Behavior

There is a definite shift in the market, and a 'wave of the digital natives' rapidly spreading through it.

Whenever a study about tablet use comes out, we are almost always faced with something that is close to useless. The studies themselves are misleading, and the conclusions are based on a single consumption mode - encouraging you to miss the point.

Let me give you just two examples that clearly illustrate how we get it wrong, misleading you into thinking about your markets in the wrong way. We will look at how we are actually seeing a wave of digital natives, and how the cultural differences have a huge impact on the world of media.

Let's start off with a simple tablet study gone wrong:

One study that many seem to be sharing (and is covered by all the tech press) is from the advertising company Flurry. In it, we see the same kind of studies that everyone else is making, looking at smartphone and tablet use by age, by time of day, etc.

The first problem is that, as an advertising company, they only measure use within the apps that use their platform. Meaning, they can't measure email, web browsing, and most news apps.

Already the data is flawed because it doesn't represent real world use. And whenever I see a study with this kind of bias, I get really skeptical about the data.

But the data sources are the least of the problem. What they did with it is much more problematic.

One of the graphs they made (below) is divided by age. It looks very nice. Except every single thing about this graph is wrong.

Let's start with the stated fact that the 'average age' is 30 years old for smartphone users and 34 for tablet users.

What conclusion would you form from that? Is it that 34 year old tablet users are the best market to focus on? Well, no. 34 year olds only represent 2.6% of the total.

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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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