Jeff Cole, Director of the Center for the Digital Future at USC

Our first class (1/11/2010) kicked off with a fantastic speaker, Jeff Cole, Director of the Center for the Digital Future at USC Annenberg.

He communicated a lot of info in a relatively short period of time about the evolution of mainstream media and what to expect in the near- and mid-term future.

Topics included:

  • Traditional media falling apart due to its delayed schedule and lack of options
  • Music business changing greatly, from year’s most popular albums selling 30 million copies down to just 3 million today
  • Dying platforms requiring advertising changes
  • The effect internet penetration and bandwidth access have on TV and print media viewing
  • Evolution of popular social networks in the 2000’s
  • Impending consolidation of print media
  • Possible future of radio and education
  • Significance of branding, addressability and privacy in modern advertisement
  • The power of mass word-of-mouth through Twitter and other social networks

Interesting facts and questions included:

  • Consumers now demand updates every 30-60 seconds
  • Is a bundle of 12 tracks still the best way to market music?
  • Walter Annenberg sold TV Guide to Rupert Murdock in 1990 for $3 billion (and we in the class directly benefit)
  • In 1975 90% of viewing was on 3 TV channels
  • Now 90% of viewing is on 15 websites
  • Teens today are more interested in news than ever before
  • Indian internet penetration is only 9% so newspapers are still booming
  • When penetration reaches 30% newspaper sales will plummet
  • PVR (e.g. Tivo) is used by 30% of Americans; how can you still engage PVR users in advertisements?
  • Not much difference between internet use by dial-up users and people with no internet, but a huge difference between dial-up and broadband
  • Teens don’t want to be on the same social network as their parents
  • Biggest group of social network users are aged 60-70 (though I highly doubt this stat)
  • In 2008 55% of young people said their online communities are as important as ones IRL (in real life)
  • In the near future students will learn intro level college subjects from the best professors in the world via digital courses
  • If the digital advertising model fails we’ll have to pay for digital content in the future

We heard about clicker.com to find TV shows on the web and Telepresence for life-size video conferencing. We also heard from APOC grads about twiistup.com and kasamamedia.com.