The future of media

The Future of Media – Is Everything Going to be Digital?


This post is a part of our “The Future of Media” series. You can check other posts here:

  1. The future of media – Are newspapers going to die?
  2. The future of media – Is Netflix going to disrupt linear TV?
  3. The future of media – Can radio compete with Spotify, Deezer, or YouTube?


Predicting the future is not a glamorous job. The speed of change (some would call it an acceleration) in how we consume media and how technology enables new ways of interaction is so fast you can’t even predict what will happen in 6 months. However, we have a date about current trends, and at least we can try to extrapolate that data and make future media predictions.

Our job as marketers (I deliberately didn’t mention digital marketers) is continually monitoring trends and user behavior, so we can prepare for what’s coming. Our clients depend on us to give them advice on the future of advertising. They need partners to constantly question the old way of doing things. The media industry is changing really fast, and it is going to change even faster. In this series of blog posts, we are going to discuss the future of the media and advertising industry by looking at the shift in consumer behavior.

Media consumption trends

Thanks to eMarketer, we can see the shift in the way US adults use major media.

Average time spent per day with major media by US adults


However, the averages do not tell the whole story…

media trends media consumption


What we see around us is quite simple: older people mostly use traditional media, while millennials (actually, most people under 40) mostly use digital media. Now, please try to imagine what will happen in 10 years when all these young users become the majority of media consumers. Moreover, in the next blog posts, we will explain why and how all these traditional channels will eventually become digital channels.

Digital Ad Spending Worldwide, 2017-2022

According to eMarketer, we can see in 2018, digital ad spending reached 43.5% of all spending, but it will overtake traditional mediums by 2021.

digital ad spending worldwide 2017-2022


When I see this data, I try to extrapolate what will happen in the future, and I see something. Maybe we shouldn’t call Kontra a digital agency. In the future, there won’t be an agency that is not digital.

Also, quoting eMarketer:

What are the main winners and losers in time spent?

Digital video is a big winner. Digital audio is also gaining. TV is the big loser, as penetration declines and time spent falls, even among those who remain as viewers. (And TV penetration among adults falls below internet user penetration for the first time.) Within digital, desktop/laptop is a loser as more and more time spent goes to mobile.

The future of media?

Trends are here, ladies and gentlemen. We see changes every day; we change every day. Technology enabled us to consume different kinds of content and, more importantly, to create content on different social media platforms. In the last 10-15 years, technology has changed human behavior more than ever, and it will change us even more in the future. Changing our way of consuming content, will change traditional media and media companies as well. Our job will be to provide key insights to our clients to consider future media spending and also to discuss things like real-time communication and real-time data.

Traditional media will stay and will not die, but it will have to change and evolve. The TV will merge with digital, the print will become digital, and the radio will become digital.

In the next posts, we’ll discuss the future of print, TV, and radio. Stay tuned.