Huge rise in social media in Australia: Future of Media research release


IT Wire has just written an article about the press briefing we did earlier this week on the research being released for the Future of Media Summit, titled Social Networking Shows Explosive Growth in Australia. They’ve largely used our press release in the article, so thought I might as well provide that below, even though it was mainly a teaser for what we covered in the briefing. More details of all of this will be available over the next week or two leading into the Summit.

A brief summary of today’s release of research findings (4 July, 2007):

From Nielsen//NetRatings:

How bandwidth affects media usage: Low Internet bandwidth in Australia is playing a major role in the lower time spent online by Australians, and in how their media consumptions habits differ from other countries. Average home user connection speeds in Australia are 21%-43% of the speeds in comparable developed countries.

The rise of social networking online. In the year to May 2007, growth in use of YouTube by Australians was a massive 239%, resulting in 20.6% of online Australians accessing the site each month. That still leaves us far behind our peers, with 30.2% of Americans and US and 25.5% of British accessing YouTube. Australians are behind in the use of blogging platforms, but close to the lead in usage of Wikipedia.

Australian use of online audio and video: 44% of Australian online users have downloaded free audio, and 36% have downloaded free video, while 14% have paid to download audio. A total of 38% of users who download content transfer it to a portable device, while almost half of these users transfer all their downloaded content to portable devices.

Growth in international vs Australian content: In 2006, the growth in international content viewed by Australian Internet users increased 45%, comparied to a 21% growth in domestic content. This has been driven by massive traffic from Australians going to US social media sites such as YouTube, at the expense of domestic sites.

From Future Exploration Network:

Including pre-release material from the Future of Media Report 2007, due out 12 July.

Emerging media business model frameworks: How the “long tail” creates different business models for new media companies, and the relevance to Australian new media companies.

Media localisation and globalisation. Moves by News and Fairfax into local online media follow similar steps by major US media companies. However new media companies such as are creating new models for local media. This suggests new global opportunities for Australian media.

Personalization of advertising. Yesterday Yahoo! announced SmartAds, which provides personalized advertisements to viewers. Future Exploration Network has created a framework for how advertising will be personalized to the individual. There are massive implications for advertisers and publishers.

Comparison of new media markets in US and Australia. Australia has just 15% as many prominent blogs as peer nations, relative to its population. There is very limited development of Australia-specific social media. Classifieds ownership in Australia has tended to remain with large media players.