Yesterday’s news about Flipboard being unofficially available for Android devices got me thinking about the sheer amount of digital content I now consume on mobile devices. Digital media in the hand isn’t new for me, by any means: My first MP3 player was little more than a 64 MB flash drive with USB 1.1 connector and no screen. And my e-book-shelves started gathering titles as far back as the year 2000; long before e-Ink displays and high-resolution tablets.
All those years ago, however, I was an outlier; looked upon as a geeky oddball who occasionally left the real world of physical media behind to plug in to a digital alternative. And now, consuming digital content is becoming the norm. (Yay, redemption!) Along the way this past decade, more and more of my content consumption has quietly migrated from print and traditional outlets to mobile devices; even when I’m at home.
Need some examples? I haven’t watched my local news station on a regular basis in about 3 years. Sorry, NBC10, you’re still my fave here in Philly, but now I just hit your site via a bookmark and mainly follow you on Twitter. CNN’s mobile app for Android and iOS has replaced national news on television for me. I still have a large paper book library — and even worked full time in a library for 5 years — but now it’s Kindle content all the way. My beloved Tour de France? Every July, I pay a small fee to watch it online while I work. The list goes on and on for me and I’m amazed at how much digital content I now consume: It likely accounts for 90 percent of my total, and the total is even higher than it was 10 years ago because there’s so much more content that’s easily accessible.
I suspect this mobile consumption theme will be a hot topic at our paidContent 2012 event in New York City later this month. One look at the schedule indicates there should be plenty of opportunities to hear about it. There’s a morning session on what the iPad and the influx of other tablets means for content, a panel on the app economy and what it means in the long run, plus what I think is a key session in the afternoon: With so much digital content available that’s easily accessible on multiple devices, how do you get your content discovered? Near the end of the day, another consumer-focused panel will discuss online video and web-only studios: Who could imagine these would be players in the video space just a few years ago?
The paidContent event is still two weeks away though and I’m interested in hearing thoughts now.
I’m sure most readers here are consuming digital content — you’re reading this in a browser or app, right? — but I think the bigger question is: Are you consuming more content than you were just one or two years ago thanks to the digital nature of content and functionality of mobile devices? I know I am.
Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
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- Tablet market to hit over 377 million units by 2016
- Updated: Forecast: global mobile subscribers, 2010–2015
- Connected world: the consumer technology revolution