Guest post by Tadd M. Pullin
Over the last four years, the velocity of a major media transformation has been breathtaking. Investment guru Jim Cramer called it the "mobile Internet tsunami" and he nailed it before many realized what was happening.
Let's take a step back and reflect on how audiences have adopted new media over the years and the time it took before the next leap occurred. Think about the time that lapsed between newspapers to radio, from radio to television, from television to computer-based Internet and now the mobile Internet.
In just a few short years, we've seen a massive shift of audience investment and attention span to mobile internet devices. That's translated into big business for those who, like Cramer, saw the tsunami coming. Apple's iPhone business alone is now larger than Microsoft's entire company.
With all of the hoopla over Facebook's IPO, investors' biggest concern holding the stock price down is the fear that the company will not be able to deliver its ad revenue magic on the mobile Internet platform. Wall Street is a reflection of what's happening in society.
A simple observation is telling. A couple of years ago, I was traveling to a conference and in the course of connecting through a city to reach my destination I noticed something curious among the people I observed in three airports and on three planes. People weren't talking as much. I didn't see many books or newspapers. Where there were television screens, people weren't watching.
I saw people with their heads down, looking at their iPhone, Android or Blackberry devices, many times while they were walking through the airport. Even when on the plane, the airline's magazine (where ad space used to be more highly coveted) didn't get much attention--there are Kindles and iPads to occupy an air traveler's attention! I'll have to admit, I was just as captivated with my iPhone, iPad and Kindle, but I couldn't help reflecting on what's happened with audience migration.