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The Australian Digital Media Industry Continues its Transformation

With the rise of digital platforms, the media industry has had to change and the transformation continues in 2017. In newspaper and book publishing, TV and radio broadcasting, film, music, and other forms of media, we see that the national walls that protect local organisations within traditional models are crumbling. In other words, it is no longer an issue of local market share. It is now about international market share. Over-The-Top providers have also had an enormous impact on the traditional media, as well as the telcos.

There are a number of sub-sectors which make up the overall digital media entertainment market and in 2017 many of these are demonstrating enormous growth. This highly competitive market is flourishing on the back of improved mobile and broadband infrastructure and consumers continuing to embrace entertainment services such as gaming, social media, video streaming and music.

The smartphone market has slowed from its boom years to a more modest growth.  Although Samsung and Apple remain the leading smartphone suppliers globally, their market share is being eroded by lower-priced phones from China.

Wearable technology has also become a thriving industry, with an ever-broadening range of possible uses and devices. With wearable devices still making their mark on the consumer market, the industry is looking at the potential of wearables in the enterprise sector – for example, being hands-free devices, smart glasses are ideal in the blue-collar business. A major threat to the smartphone and wearables business however arises from the limitations of the mobile broadband infrastructure. The mobile industry can develop all of these new applications and services, but if the infrastructure cannot handle the capacity, there will be little use for them.

Social media developments are fascinating and exciting. They show the great potential of the new communication and information tools that are becoming available thanks to the internet, Web 2.0, email, broadband infrastructure and mobile phones and tablets. However, for these new social media tools to succeed, they need to be fully and totally integrated into our daily communication.

Popular Australian social media sites have come and gone over the last five or so years as users trend to new features that allow them to experiment and connect. Services include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wikipedia, Foursquare and LinkedIn Instagram, Pinterest and many others. The battle however is still far from over, with companies trying to build viable business models around their ever increasing customer data bases. Increased use of mobile broadband through mobile devices is driving consumer uptake, with many businesses now also investing in social media and also expecting a return.

As broadband speed and capacity increases we are seeing a whole new range of gaming applications entering the market over the next decade. Not needing a console has increased access and created distinctions between console vs. casual gamers. Games are now integrated with other online services such as music and movies. The video and computer games industry in Australia continues to grow strongly. Much of the growth in digital has come from a jump year-on-year in mobile game downloads.

Online gaming and gambling can take players from outside the boundaries of their home countries where these online activities may or may not be sanctioned by the authorities. The global market is an expanding one where virtual online gaming and virtual online gambling is a growth market. There is a decline in the number of Australians who are gambling – but an explosion in sports betting, especially via online.

The Australian mobile media provider market has seen some changes over the last few years as company mergers and acquisitions bring consolidation to the industry. The major mobile media players are becoming digital media providers as they provide access to their services via mobile devices.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Australia – Digital Media – Apps and Services