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Will one in five Americans own a tablet by 2014? Media Industry Predictions in 2011

I recently tuned into the Vocus Webinar: Adapting, Surviving, Reviving: State of the media in 2011.

It was a great hour long webinar filled with information on the media industry and an overall positive message. First and foremost, they were quick to point out that the media industry is stabilizing. However, despite the stabilization, traditional media is changing. Professional communicators must be prepared for changes in the four mainstream media outlets.

Magazines: The most popular trends in 2011 for magazines are the surge of mobile apps as an extension of their brand and the creation of online only magazines. This prediction of mobile apps and online only magazine couples nicely with the study conducted by Harris Interactive that one in five Americans will own a tablet by 2014. The Harris Interactive study is also timely with the launch of Rupert Murdoch’s iPad only magazine, The Daily. However, one thing to note with online only magazines is that

Vocus researchers found when a magazine goes from print to online, readership goes down and average time spent with the magazine drops. Even though magazines may now become more accessible than ever on tablets, the quality of engagement of consumers drops.

Newspapers: As Twitter continues to evolve, we begin to see the brand of individual newspapers evolve with them. Major news sources now stretch far beyond their original print boundaries to include websites, tweets, and Facebook fan pages. Individual reporters are expanding the brand with their own Twitter and blog accounts too. Additionally, the creation of hyper local news sources such as Patch.com creates an interesting dichotomy for public relations professional. On one hand these sites create more opportunity for content, while on the other hand generating more competition.

Television: One of the newer trends in TV news is the emergence of the 4:30 a.m. newscast. However, unlike Patch.com this is unlikely to be a new source for content, as we are finding it is mostly a recap of the previous day’s news. We are also seeing social media as the go to news source which is becoming more accepted and effectively used by network and local TV newscasts. Many news sources pull directly from Twitter and Facebook for viewer opinions and encourage interaction throughout the segment. The take away point on TV news is that communicators need to have an active role and complete understanding of social media if they want to continue to participate in this arena.

Radio: according to Vocus researchers, the death of radio is completely exaggerated. The use of radio on smart phones will continue to rise, and Pandora will remain just as popular. Also the resurgence of satellite radio (possibly contributed to the five year contract renewal of Howard Stern and Sirius Radio) in vehicles will contribute to life of this outlet.

Overall, it looks like I now have to start my research for the best tablet launched at CES and make a purchase to keep up with the Joneses. It is time to prepare for the takeover of the tablet.