The Green Monster
I picked a heckuva week to travel up to Boston. I arrived the same day as the Boston Marathon, and apparently, the weather this year for the run was “hellish.” In fact, I met a guy on the rental car shuttle bus who had just run the marathon, and he explained all he wanted was a beer, he was SO sick of drinking Gatorade to stay hydrated during the race.
But also this week, we’re witnessing the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park, one of the classic old baseball parks and home to the 7 time World Series champion Boston Red Sox.
No sooner do I arrive in Boston than I start reading that former Texas Rangers manager Bobby Valentine is stirring up agita amidst the player ranks in Boston — ah, we miss you down in Texas, Bobby.
I’m expecting to attend the Rangers/Red Sox game this evening at Fenway, my first time there. I’ll be the crazy Texan along the third base line wearing the cowboy hat (not really).
Now, out in viva Las Vegas, the National Association of Broadcasters show has kicked off. As part of the festivities, IBM just released a new IBM study of the media and entertainment market, which reveals that as consumers adopt an increasing number of digital devices, four distinct new “digital personalities” are emerging.
Think Sybil for iPad users!
This shift, in turn, is compelling companies to adopt more innovative business models that deliver personalized experiences.
Here’s some details behind the study: First, not all these folks are college students, contrary to popular belief. Sixty-five percent of respondents aged 55 to 64 report surfing the Web and texting with friends while watching TV. Take that, young whippersnappers.
Eighty-two percent of surveyed global consumers aged 18 to 64 embracing connected digital devices. And more than 50 percent of consumers in China and the United States are moving away from traditional forms of media and using online sources for breaking news.
The New Personalities: Instant, Efficient, And Social
With the growth of digital devices, one-way communication and distribution of content is no longer enough. Connected consumers these days are demanding instant access to personalized content on their own terms. These new “personalities” look as follows:
- Efficiency Experts: With 41 percent in this category, these respondents use digital devices and services to simplify day-to-day activities. Efficiency experts send emails rather than letters, use Facebook to communicate with others, access the Internet via mobile phones, and shop online.
- Content Kings: Are generally male consumers, who frequently play online games, download movies and music, and watch TV online. This audience represents 9 percent of the global sample.
- Social Butterflies: Place emphasis on social interaction – they require instant access to friends, regardless of time or place. Fifteen percent of consumers surveyed reported they frequently maintain and update social networking sites, add labels or tags to online photos, and view videos from other users.
- Connected Maestros: 35 percent of those surveyed take a more advanced approach to media consumption by using mobile devices and Smartphone applications to access games, music, and video or to check news, weather, sports, etc.
“Media companies need to engage with consumers based on their digital personalities, if they are going to maintain a sustainable and connected relationship, said Saul Berman, Global Strategy Consulting Leader, IBM Global Business Services, and co-author of the study. “With the mass infiltration of digital devices, organizations can now enhance, extend or redefine the customer experience within minutes due to a steady stream of real-time data via social media. Future success is dependent upon successfully executing on insights based on this data, to reach the right consumer, at the right time and place, using the right tools.”
According to the IBM study, media and entertainment companies’ payment infrastructures need to be flexible and scalable to allow a variety of innovative pricing approaches to attract consumers with different preferences to their content.
The need for payment option flexibility, even for the same set of consumers, is apparent by looking at those most active in adopting new devices.
This group’s preferred mode of payment to watch a movie on a website is by viewing advertising that is included with the movie (39 percent of this segment chose this option), while they prefer to see movies on a tablet by purchasing a subscription (chosen by 36 percent). But to watch movies on a smart phone, they prefer to pay per use (the payment choice of 36 percent).
IBM surveyed 3,800 consumers in six countries – China, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States for this study, and also met with global representatives in broadcasting, publishing, as well as media service agencies, and telecommunication providers, to evaluate digital consumption behaviors.
You can register to download the full report here.