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Americans go content-crazy

Nearly half of U.S. media consumers are frequently creating online content for others to see, according to a survey commissioned by Deloitte & Touche USA.

This marks a 12 point escalation from a prior survey commissioned by Deloitte in early 2007, challenging the conventional assumption that online content creation is limited to a niche group of technology-savvy individuals. This and additional top-line survey findings were released last week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.Ed Moran: unheralded choice has been created

Deloitte’s 2008 State of the Media Democracy survey found that 45 percent of survey respondents are developing web sites, photo albums, blogs and music online to share with friends, family, peers and total strangers.

“Mass digitization has created unheralded choice and desire for American consumers,” said Ed Moran, director of product innovation for Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications group. “Now, more than ever, consumers have the independence to enjoy what they want, when they want it, and where they want it – but increasingly, they are also choosing to create content themselves, or re-working other people’s content.”

The demand to access content “on the go” is also reflected strongly in the survey, with 36 percent of all respondents stating that they view their cell phone as an entertainment device – a rise from 24 percent in Deloitte’s previous survey – with digital cameras, text messaging, and games ranking highest as the applications consumers are most frequently using on their phones.

“The cell phone is increasingly moving center stage as the most important entertainment device to consumers,” said Phil Asmundson, vice chairman and national managing partner for Deloitte’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications group. “The responses of those that we polled indicate that it is not just a two device world, and that advertisers and content providers should be looking beyond the TV and computer when developing forward-looking consumer strategies.”

When it comes to current advertising effectiveness, television ranks number one (85 percent) as having the most influence on buying decisions. However, online (65 percent) and magazine advertising (63 percent) are in a virtual tie for number two, followed by newspapers (56 percent).

“Consumers are opting for – and increasingly being influenced within – a multi-platform world,” said Ken August, Deloitte vice chairman and U.S. Media & Entertainment leader. “Advertisers and content providers should take note.”

About the Survey

The online survey was commissioned by Deloitte and conducted by Harrison Group, an independent research company, between October 25 and October 31, 2007. The survey polled 2,081 consumers between the ages of 13 and 75. The survey results have a margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Click here for more information on the survey.

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The Big Change is a business strategy blog and newsletter published by Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx, a leading technology research organisation based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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