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Media industry trends and dynamics: The Social Media boom

Authors:

Abstract

Media Industry in 2014 is moving away from traditional print and audiovisual domination and into the digital age. with smartphones being the key to ushering in innovative technology, creativity and high-speed communication. Mobile telephony has proved a huge plus in propagating digital applications not just in the metros but also in smaller cities and towns. There has been a phenomenal growth of digital media usage despite the poor power and infrastructure situation in India which is a huge deterrent. India today boasts of the third largest population on Facebook and the growing numbers are an indicator of things to come.
Available online at www.sciencedirect.com
Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 00 (2014) 000000
1877-0428 © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of i-COME’14.
The International Conference on Communication and Media 2014 (i-COME’14)
Media industry trends and dynamics: The Social Media boom
Prof Shirin Abbas Dr (Col) AK Singh*
Shri Ramswaroop Memorial University, 2/66 Gomtinagar Lucknow 226010,India
Shri Ramswaroop Memorial University, A-9 AWHO Colony, Tyagi Vihar Bangla bazaar, Lucknow 226002,
Abstract
Media Industry in 2014 is moving away from traditional print and audio-visual domination and into the digital age. with
smartphones being the key to ushering in innovative technology, creativity and high-speed communication. Mobile telephony
has proved a huge plus in propagating digital applications not just in the metros but also in smaller cities and towns. There has
been a phenomenal growth of digital media usage despite the poor power and infrastructure situation in India which is a huge
deterrent. India today boasts of the third largest population on Facebook and the growing numbers are an indicator of things to
come.
© 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Selection and peer-review under responsibility of i-COME’14.
Keywords: Digital Media, India, Facebook, Social media, New media
1. New Media
New media is increasingly becoming the preferred term for a range of media practices that employ digital
technologies and the computer in one way or the other. New media is also emerging as a key institutional term in
education and culture.
Overview
A Media industry trends and dynamics: The big digital boom
B Growth of Social Media
_________
* Corresponding author. Tel.:+91-9335231305
E-mail address: Shirin.bj@srmu.ac.in;shirinabbas@gmail.com
Shirin Abbas,/ Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences i-COME (2014)
2
C Current World and Indian Scenario
1.1. New Media Vs Digital Media
The main problem with the term ‘digital media’ is that it has a tendency to privilege technology itself as the
defining aspect of a medium, as if all digital media practice will be first and foremost about, or will reflect that
character of digital technology. In contrast, the term, ‘New media’ signals more about the contemporary cultural
concepts and contexts of media practices than it does about simply a new set of technologies.
The revaluation of old media through the prism of new media, or the visioning of new media possibilities
through the lens of old media is a response to the phenomenon of convergence in technologies and media
ownership. Convergence is also a way of thinking about the current state of new media languages. (Dewdney
Andrew and Peter, 2006)
New media is the buzzword, shorthand for a volatile cultural and technology industry that includes multimedia,
entertainment and e-commerce. However in social research the term has a long history, having been used since the
1960s and 1970s by investigators studying the form, uses and implications of information and communication
technologies. (ICTs) (E.g. Parker and 1970a, 1970; Parker and Dunn, 1972)
Social Media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange
information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. Furthermore, social media depends on mobile and
web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms through which individuals and communities share,
co-create, discuss and modify user-generated content. It introduces substantial and pervasive changes to
communication between organizations, communities and individuals.
New media is the buzzword, shorthand for a volatile cultural and technology industry that includes multimedia,
entertainment and e-commerce. However in social research the term has a long history, having been used since the
1960s and 1970s by investigators studying the form, uses and implications of information and communication
technologies. (ICTs) (Leah A. Lievrouw & Sonia Livingstone, 2010)
Social Media refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and exchange
information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. Furthermore, social media depends on mobile and
web-based technologies to create highly interactive platforms through which individuals and communities share,
co-create, discuss and modify user-generated content. It introduces substantial and pervasive changes to
communication between organizations, communities and individuals.
Table 1: Social Media UsageGlobal & Indian
Medium
Global
Indian
Facebook
1.5 billion
115 million
Twitter
500 + million
77.49 million
Google +
500+ million
20 million
Linked in
238 million
23 miillion
Instagram
130 million
Data not Available
Pinterest
70 million
8.12 million
Tumblr
267 million
2.93 million
You Tube
Data not Available
55 million
1.2 The Growth of Mobile Applications (Apps) and Smartphones
IT research firm Gartner estimated that worldwide Mobile app stores revenues to reach $26 billion in 2013
compared to $18 billion in 2012 and annual downloads will reach 102 billion in 2013, up from 64 billion in 2012.
91% of total downloads are Free apps and in-app purchases (IAPs) accounts for 48% of app store revenue by 2017,
up from 11%in 2012. There is a linear relationship between the apps download and the sales of new mobile
devices as the customers who buy new mobile phones definitely download apps and as the mobile buying cycle
slows down so does the mobile apps downloads. The industry is expected to continue its explosive growth in
Shirin Abbas,/ Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences i-COME (2014)
3
future also due to upgrading of mobile networks from 2G to 3G to 4G which will increase the speed of internet and
data downloads on the mobile phones and also the mobile phone manufacturers launching more and more devices
with powerful processors, touch screens, increase in display screen sizes and finally developers developing more
apps.
Apple iOS and Google Android app stores combined are the dominant players in this market and are forecasted
to account for 90 percent of global downloads in 2017. Key reason for their dominance is their advanced
ecosystems and active developer communities. Free apps currently account for about 60% and 80% of the total
available apps in Apple's App Store and Google Play, respectively. Gartner Research highlights IAP is a major
revenue contributor to Apple’s App Store revenue fueled by the increasing numbers of iPhones and iPads. Other
platforms including Android and Microsoft stores have not been able to monetize their apps, but analysts expect
they will also see IAP contributions increase in the future.
Email and calendaring (46%), Instant Messaging (IM) (37%), and office & personal productivity (26%) are the
three most popular uses of mobile applications today according to Gartner survey. CRM, at 19%, and ERP, at
17%, have been predicted to grow the fastest of all enterprise applications on the mobile over the next three years.
Mobile apps are no longer a consumer phenomenon and there has been an increase in adoption by enterprise
companies and are developing and launching mobile apps. Apps are being used to engage with both the consumers
and employees. Smartphones sales are increasing and the companies are adopting the bring-your-own-device
(BYOD) will also fuel the enterprise apps growth. But challenges remain for the App stores in terms of monetizing
the applications and increasing their revenues. Customers are not inclining to pay for apps and making them pay is
the biggest challenge for the industry. (Gartner 2013) Vice President of the Sales and Marketing, group and
General Manager of worldwide embedded systems group at Intel,Indu Nandakumar states in her article in The
Economic Times from India’s e-hub, Bangalore. “We view the internet-of-things driving the next wave of
computing. Early indications from India that we see a lot of interest around these new solutions.” Internet –of-
things refers to the growing trend of devices getting connected to the internet and indicates growing e-literacy in a
country. Obviously e-governance comes under its purview and Elections 2014 are not going to remain unaffected
by the same, [3]
2.0 The Indian Scenario:
While social media growth around the world has slowed, certainly in the U.S. and Western Europe, it’s far from
stopped, with the huge opportunity to recruit new users in less-developed markets ensuring that the social
networking uptick will continue for years to come. Some 200 million users globally were added in the past 12
months, with 1.61 billion people now active in social media. This is expected to advance to 1.82 billion next year
before breaching the 2 billion mark in 2016.
The growth figures were not unexpected. According to an eMarketer report, “Worldwide Social Network Users:
2013 Forecast and Comparative Estimates,” the number of social network users in India was expected to cross 100
million users and reach more than 127 million users by end of 2013. The total numbers of social media users will
more than double and reach close to 283 million users by 2017. But the interesting fact is that the number of users
has already started to see slower growth from 2013.
There has been a strong social media adoption in India since past few years as the business organizations,
government organizations and even political parties are actively utilizing the various social media platforms and
social network sites to reach the people. 75% of Indians who are active internet users use social networking sites
like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest etc. and interaction with friends, relatives, colleagues and community,
live chat, status updates, image- as well as video-sharing are some of the major activities by Indians that spend
close to 30 minutes every day online on the different social networks. (eMarket report 2013)
According to Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the number of social media users in Urban
India reached 66 million by June 2013 and by mid-2014 is expected to cross 80 million users. Some 97 per cent of
them are on Facebook. And they are spread beyond the big metros. One-third of social media users live in towns
with a population of less than 5 million; 25 per cent of the total users live in towns with less than 2 million
inhabitants.
Shirin Abbas,/ Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences i-COME (2014)
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Social media usage is also fast catching up with mobile internet users. According to the report, 77 percent of the
users use mobile for social media. Email, social media, search, app store and chat / IM are used every day by those
accessing internet through mobile. Facebook has 78 million monthly active users (MAUs) in India for the quarter
ending March 31, 2013, registering a 50% increase from the Q1 2012. LinkedIn has 20 million users, Twitter has
33 million users, Pinterest has 5.5 million users in India at the end of March 2013. Indians are very active on
different social networks and are also actively increasing the amount of time they spend on the various social
networking sites. (IAMAI report 2013)
Once restricted to college students, Facebook's fastest-growing demographic is users over 18. MySpace is
another social networking site gaining popularity. As of June 2013, Facebook itself has about 82 million users
from India and 75% of them were on mobile. Thanks to the Indian mobile manufacturers, the multimedia sets are
now cheaper than ever allowing people from all economic strata to access the internet. The sudden surge of social
media literacy has now spread all across the country. Thus, mobile apps provide not only ease of access to the
users but it also allows users from the mid and low impact zones to access social media. It is observed that
although a large chunk of these users may not be proactive but they do act as listeners. Listeners who when
required, act.
Social media networking properties (apps/sites) comes second only to “search” as the most favored activity of
smart phone users in India. The current goof up of the facebook IPO may have affected its image worldwide, but
the majority of smartphone users in India have chosen to overlook it as a minor glitch. Contrary to the notion that
mobile internet penetration is unhealthy, a recent report by Nielsen Informate Mobile Insights suggests that 93%
Indian smartphone users use their handsets to access social media. Facebook, of course tops the list with 5 times
more hits than its rival google+ and twitter falls into the third place. (Rai Anand 2012)
Social Media adoption among Internet Users in India is around 84% today. This translates to around 110
million social network users in India. Twitter has an audience of 82 million as per industry data. A 37.4% social
networking growth has been recorded in 2013 aloneamong the highest in the world.
This includes users mainly accessing Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Other new and upcoming Social networking sites like Pinterest, Tumblr and Foursqaure are yet to take off in a
major way in India. The report further elucidates the Adoption of Social Technologies in Enterprises vs.
Consumer, amount of time spent on social media by users along with addressing the key question of how corporate
houses are factoring Social Networks in their Online Ad Budgets? This report presents a status quo compendium
on social media that will act as a ready referral source for the digital media industry. (Chawla Suneil, (2013)
Microsoft India Head, HR, Rohit Thakur while accepting that Social Media has emerged as a highly influential
professional tool, avers, that Social Media is fast emerging as an effective tool for self branding. In such a scenario
it is imperative that prospective candidates create an appropriate social profile that has complete and accurate
information about their education and professional qualifications, agenda, affiliation and stand on critical issues.
(Bhatia Yasovardhan,2013)
The Digital Media market is estimated at a total of 227 billion rupees in India with 127 users with PCs and
laptops and another 100 odd million accessing internet through mobiles tablets and other devices. [20] With so
many accessing the internet each minute, it is clear that in the new age of cyber savvy netizens voting probably for
the first time this year, Social Media will prove to be the clinching factor.
2.3 Empowering the Voter:
A recent report released by the Internet and Mobile Association of India and IRIS Knowledge Foundation has
revealed that of India’s 543 constituencies,160 can be termed as ‘high impact’ that is, they will most likely be
influenced by social media. As the report explains, high impact constituencies are those where the numbers of
Facebook users are more than the margin of victory of the winner in the last Lok Sabha (Lower House of
Parliament) election, or where Facebook users account for over 10% of the voting population. The study goes onto
declare 67 constituencies as medium-impact, 60 as low-impact and 256 as no-impact constituencies. In 67 other
‘medium-impact constituencies’, Facebook users comprise over 5 per cent of voters. Politicians here, the study
says, ‘cannot afford to ignore social media.’ (Datar Saurabh & Shetty Shakti 2013)
The study certainly seems to echo the general euphoria over social networking as a political tool. However, the
number of Facebook users might not translate into any change in voting patterns - Though high in numbers, 7.8
Shirin Abbas,/ Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences i-COME (2014)
5
crore Facebookians and 2 crore Twitteratis make up only 8.5 % of the total Indian population. Social Media expert
Ratnakar Kumar speaking on this vast divide between the internet haves and the have not says, "As you know the
number of people active on social networking sites is small when compared to a vast majority of non-internet
Indian electorates. However, a socially committed and politically aware 98 million in itself is a huge force to
reckon with, especially when the voting turn-out in Indian politics is not always high, 98 million can play a major
role." (Datar Saurabh & Shetty Shakti 2013)
3.1 Global Digital Trends 2014: Data Deluge
There are over 2.1 billion plus Internet users in the world today with over 45% of them in Asia alone and over
5.3 billion mobile subscribers 77% of world’s population! Some 500 million to 1 billion people access Internet
via mobile, many of them only through mobile. Almost 1 in 5 global mobile subscribers have access to fast mobile
Internet (3G+). Today 85%+ of new handsets can access mobile Web. In 2011 alone, a total 8 trillion text
messages were sent! (Slideshare 2013)
As the impact and efficacy of New and Social Media increases, bodies like the United Nations stress that more
NGOs use these tools to raise public awareness of their cause, utilize the same for fund raising, to reach new
constituents & supporters, build a community of passionate champions and get people to take real-world actions
(Briggs Mark 2013) However one needs to remain realistic. In order to enhance existing communications programs
one must understand that social media is a series of stages: Crawl, Walk, Run, fly. One should create a Strategic
Plan with realistic, concrete goals, identify internal and external champions. And consider how one can create
content and induce outsiders to create content. (Mane Uday 2012)
Initial research has tested the ground for a further study of the impact and outreach of New & Social Media in
backward areas of the state can conclusively lead to further study in the field to promote successful communication
and sensitization campaigns by NGOs using New and Social Media techniques.
3.2 Digital Trends India 2014
Facebook user growth will come fastest from Asia-Pacific, where adoption rates in India, Indonesia and Japan
far exceed the worldwide average growth of 28.2% in 2013. The Middle East and Africa and Latin America will
also post higher-than-average growth rates going forward. Worldwide social network ad revenues are still going
strong and set to grow nearly 54% this year, according to the author estimates.
Facebook had 78 million users in India in the first quarter of 2013. The next logical step is to monetize this
base. (Khandeker-Kohli 2013)
There is no magic wand to predict what 2014 will bring for India. There will definitely be innovations in digital
marketing and communication. Social pundits prophesy that year 2014 will surely be the year of the Mobile web
for India. Mobile Commerce has long-held promise in India, but looks like 2014 will be the year when the promise
turns into reality. Large ecommerce websites like MakeMytrip, Flipkart and Myntra are seeing ~15%-20% of the
transactions coming through mobile already. If you run a business, it’s the right time to think through a mobile
strategy (just building an app won’t do!) and ensure that your customers can transact with you through their
mobiles.( Suneil Chawla,2014)
With 227 million online users in India, over 127 million of these access the internet through PC’s Laptops et al
whereas the remaining 100 million do the same through Mobiles, tablets or other devices. The percentage share of
social media amounts to around 13% of the total digital pay revenue of Rs 250 billion as per IMAI, TRAI,
FICCI_KPMG Report 2013 and industry sources. (Kohli-Khandekar Vinita 2013)
4.0 Conclusion:
With a 51.7% increase expected in the Indian subcontinent in Social Media users, the time is ripe to usher in a
new digital revolution which entails the use of inexpensive efficient and prompt tools to aid social causes like
HIV/AIDS research and communication. With transliteration and translation tools available across various
e-platforms, the stage has come when these will be the tools of the future to push intensive research and study in
these spheres. The field is now open to innovative communicators who wish to take the lead and take
Shirin Abbas,/ Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences i-COME (2014)
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e-communication to new heights in this digital age.
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Six Predictions For Social Media
  • Clinger Patrick
Clinger Patrick, ProBoards (2013) Six Predictions For Social Media In 2014 http://www.mediapoondi.com/2013/12/18/proboards-six-predictions-for-social-media-in-2014/
Will Social Media decide the 2014 elections? Mid Day
Datar Saurabh & Shetty Shakti,(2013) Will Social Media decide the 2014 elections? Mid Day, December 1, 2013, http://www.mid-day.com/lifestyle/2013/dec/011213-social-media-facebook-twitter-youtube-2014-elections.htm
The New Media Handbook, The Language of New Media
  • Dewdney Andrew
  • Ride Peter
Dewdney Andrew and Ride Peter, (2006) The New Media Handbook, The Language of New Media, 40-41
Tips for Effectively Using Social Media for Social Change
  • James Jennifer
James Jennifer, (2013) 8 Tips for Effectively Using Social Media for Social Change, [online]
The Handbook Of New Media, Introduction to the first edition (2002) The Social Shaping And Consequences of ICTS
  • J D Lasica
  • Burke Shonali
Lasica J.D. and Burke Shonali, (2012) How NGOs can use social media to create impact and eradicate poverty, United Nations, Lievrouw Leah A. & Livingstone Sonia, (2010) The Handbook Of New Media, Introduction to the first edition (2002) The Social Shaping And Consequences of ICTS, Sage Publications Nandakumar Indu, (2013) The Economic Times, Bangalore, Intel Sees Growth Opportunity In Internet-Of-Things,
How NGOs can Use Social Media, Slide share Presentation by the United Nations, Department of Social and External Affairs
  • Slideshare
Slideshare, (2010) How NGOs can Use Social Media, Slide share Presentation by the United Nations, Department of Social and External Affairs. http://www.slideshare.net
The Indian Media Business
http://www.impatientoptimists.org/Posts/2013/03/8-Simple-Strategies-to-Effectively-Use-Social-Media-for-Social-Change Kohli-Khandekar Vanita, (2013) The Indian Media Business, Digital Sage Publilications 310, 313-315