The Next Leap


TREND 4: A Global Digital Media Boom

with 6 comments

Despite the very rapid pace of change, stakeholders engaged in creative and media activities were optimistic about the future of their sector. Three trends signal the emergence of a global digital media boom:

First, convergence across media and platforms is becoming a reality. This is evident in the fact that while until very recently mobile phones were limited to making and receiving phone calls, now a cheap mobile phone can handle E-mail, display satellite maps, play music, and create and display video.

Second, the global population of Internet users is growing, as is the bandwidth to deliver converged content to them. The global explosion of high bandwidth connections will create a truly global and massive market for digital media content. Digital media content is a very broad area, and offers a wide range of opportunities. Gaming, for example, offers the opportunity of a brand new sub-sector, generating high-skilled employment in graphics, physics, networking, game engine technology, interactive audio, and marketing, sales, PR, and distribution. Content will soon be among the key commodities on the Internet, particularly where it can be delivered in a personalised manner directly to individuals’ mobile handsets.

Third, the trend towards providing free services paid for by advertising suggests significant opportunities for any countries that gain leadership in global advertising in new digital formats.

These trends represent a significant opportunity for Ireland to develop as a global media and advertising hub. Witness, for example, Irish-based software developer CryptoLogic’s announcement in August 2008 of its agreement of a deal to provide an online version of the traditional boardgame “Mahong” to 50% of China’s internet cafes. However, the boom in digital media content is also a threat to conventional TV. The schedule-based programming of conventional television channels is threatened with obsolescence by the radical change in the viewing habits of a new audience that prefers to choose how and when it watches video content online. This post-broadcasting world, however, may represent a rich opportunity for RTE to diversify its offerings and become an incubator and developer of new Irish content.

Continue to Options for Government Action in A Global Media Boom


Written by johnnyryan

13/12/2008 at 01:46

6 Responses

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  1. On the nail with the mobiles point, amazing what you can now do for 100 USD. And I think personalisation will also be critical, once user fears about Big Brother, and yes, overdone advertising, are cured.

    The Mah Jong deal was good news, but a bit of an exception, most outside companies finding China, India, Japan, Korea, or even nearer Russia, rather impenetrable, not helped by our terrible track record in foreign languages. Also, content *is* big but getting paid for it not so much. See Hulu, YouTube and so on. Monetisation may require more specialised approaches.

    I like the insight on TV, and indeed TiVo, SkyBoxes, and their ilk, are changing the game, tho for a minority in most places for now. A big question exists around mobile TV, which has been slow to date.

    R Almatev

    18/12/2008 at 23:08

  2. On RTE, I cannot really comment but would wonder how ready such a big public sector body is to “repurpose”?

    R Almatev

    18/12/2008 at 23:09

  3. The identification of both mobile media and new internet content and services as major targets is spot-on, but we need to accelerate a bit, as many other countries spotted this some time ago too. On the “free service for ads” point, thinking is mixed, with some telecom opertors and service providers fearing that free services come to be unvalued over time, permanently degrading their value, but there is no doubt ads can help, and for some types of content, we are all pretty used to a big of advertising as the “price” of access.

    On the last point, scheduled TV will certainly become much less important, and most of us already use some “deferral” mechanisms, such as plain old VCRs, or, oddly much less, DVD recorders, or Sky or other hard drive “boxes,” or in other countries, TiVo or Slingback, and with online facilities like Hulu to come. Ireland should certainly look at the storage market as an opportunity.

    J Doyle

    20/12/2008 at 11:52

  4. Interersting video report on IHT re models of distribution/rights management for digital music –


    31/12/2008 at 18:29

  5. […] initial idea in Trend 4 is that this could focus on payments and rights clearance for digital content, but as Trend 5 […]

  6. Hi guys,

    I work in the business side of the games industry, and at the launch it sounded like a lot of you are facing the same issues we are.

    Get in touch with them at , there’s nearly 6 years of discussion on the forums.


    Jamie McCormick

    14/01/2009 at 22:43

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