There’s no doubt that the mobile revolution has impacted a number of industries but the last five years has seen the biggest shift in user behaviour, not least for the entertainment and media industry.
With consumers around the world fully embracing mobile devices, the challenges now faced by entertainment companies have led to some interesting innovations, however many organisations are still failing to embed mobile at the centre of their business models.
In the last of our podcast series on the PwC Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook, David Wiadrowski of PwC Australia and Marcel Fenez, Global Leader for Entertainment and Media, discuss mobile devices and media content.
You can listen to the podcast using the player below or subscribe to the Digital Pulse Podcast on iTunes. A full transcript of the audio is included below.
Previous podcasts on the PwC Australian Entertainment & Media Outlook:
- Innovation for the entertainment and media industry
- Digital vs traditional media – what’s the difference?
Marcel Fenez: There’s no question that one of the big game changers is not just for entertainment and media but to other sectors in the last ten years. There’s been the mobile revolution but it is interesting that while we’ve been talking about the impact of mobile for seemingly a decade or more, it’s really in the course of the last, perhaps, five years that we have seen a real take-off in everything mobile.
The game changer was obviously the advent of smart devices – whether that’s your smartphone, your tablet or indeed your watch – that we have seen this proliferation in smart devices where finally consumers can actually enjoy rich content, rich media. It’s that – together with obviously investments in the right level of infrastructure in terms of mobile networks – that can support this. You know, it has been a huge game changer.
I think what it’s enabled is the consumer to finally get access at their convenience to many of the great things that lie out there in terms of content. Certainly we see that in every market around the world.
What I would actually also say is that it’s in many of the faster growing markets, which don’t have a strong legacy of fixed connections, where actually the mobile revolution is almost even more important. So that they’ve been, if you like, leapfrogging into a mobile environment and where the mobile device is actually an integral part of life, whether it’s as a payment platform or whether it’s for monitoring your health…. where mobile has really changed and certainly in terms of the world of entertainment and media and I’m sure that would be the case here in Australia too, right?
David Wiadrowski: Very consistent, Marcel, all of those points that you just raised are very consistent here. Smartphone and tablet penetration is very, very high already in Australia. The consumer continues to really love and embrace that sort of mobile experience and again they’re the ones that are really holding all the cards now because they’ve got the power and they want to consume content where, and on what device, and at what time that suits them.
It’s coming back to one of the challenges that entertainment and media companies are facing in Australia: that with this increased amount of mobility and in the increasing power of the consumer, they’re holding all the cards, which is putting challenges on business models.
So we are starting to see some interesting innovations but entertainment media companies need to continue to innovate that product to really embed mobile in the centre of their business models. We still see some of them doing it as a bit of an afterthought – they’re still building websites but they’re not mobile ready, so that’s creating some challenges in terms of that user experience and it’s really just reinforcing the power of mobile and the consumer is becoming stronger and stronger. If Australian entertainment and media companies don’t embrace that – and it’s not just limited to entertainment media companies… any consumer-based company in Australia that’s got a consumer at the end of the value chain, they’re consuming those products and services in some form through a mobile device whether it be to purchase it or actually consume it – they’ve got the same issues.
Marcel: I think it’s actually interesting that putting mobile at the centre of everything you do is absolutely critical. I think it’s been one of the big shifts so that even five years ago we were talking more about re-purposing of content from mobile.
That was at a time when the mobile device was almost regarded as the distress device: when you had nothing else, you were going to basically rely on your mobile. That’s changed. It’s not a distress device anymore, it’s a must-have device and I think understanding that shift in behaviour where it is now, the number one device, that every time you move home, for example, probably these days you don’t worry so much about a fixed-line telephone. Why? Because you have the always on mobile device.
So the shift has meant that it is no longer about re-purposing, it’s about designing primarily for mobile content and I think also what it means is that we truly need to get very granular around mobile behaviours. Now some people might call those, by the way, mobile misbehaviours but I think it is important to recognise that it’s a key part of the content sharing experience.
How many times do we these days see this marriage of a mobile screen with a, let’s say, a television? It’s quite common now, if you’re in a family setting, to find a family watching something, for example, on a traditional TV and yet people within that family are actually using their mobile devices to talk to someone in the same room. What we’re alluding to there is how mobile can also be a second screen and how you can use that second screen as a content provider to improve that content experience.
Mobile devices to me are so much also around screens; at the end of the day, where there is a screen there is a consumer. Where there is a consumer, advertising will clearly follow and so I think this issue of mobile really has taken off in the last five years, since the advent of smart devices. So that to me was one game changer and we’re only just beginning to understand the full implications of that.
David: I think the final observation, Marcel, from my perspective, is that the mobile has become so pervasive in our day to day lives. If you stand back and take a simplistic view of what we each do each and every day – when you’re travelling on a plane and the plane lands, the first thing most people on the plane do is turn their mobile device on. When you’re in a business meeting, most people can’t help themselves to not actually interact with their smart device in a business meeting. And dare I say it, we’re seeing the mobile device becoming common in the bedroom at home, which is obviously being a disrupting factor – but that’s the way the mobile device is becoming so pervasive in our lives.
The PwC Australian Entertainment and Media Outlook is an annual report on consumer and business trends within 11 industry segments including film, TV, radio, interactive games and the internet. Access industry insights and forecasts by purchasing the 2015 Outlook here.