Former Wall Street analyst Mary Meeker this week published her annual analysis of Internet trends and market projections. It's useful data, especially all the charts and numbers that are often reused in tens of thousands of startup business plans. The section that interests me the most is in mobile media and mobile advertising. There is a massive revenue chasm for media companies in the mobile space.
Pew Research and others have noted the fast pace of change towards mobile devices in peoples' access to news and other media. But media companies make five times less from mobile advertising.
It's hard enough for media companies to transition to a digital business model, which produces one-tenth the ad revenue of print. Now with their readers' rush to mobile, they face a further massive loss in advertising revenue! Here is the problem facing media companies and the move to mobile in Meeker's deck:
The media industry is unable to monetize the ad opportunity in mobile by tens of billions of dollars!
If Google is having trouble monetizing mobile, imagine how hard it must be for traditional media companies. This is a very serious issue. Is it because tiny ads don't work? Or that we haven't managed to create a mobile ad format that works? Or maybe media on mobile devices can't be monetized by media companies through advertising no matter how clever and innovative?
I think it's the latter and that makes life even tougher for media companies in transition. Matt Sanchez, CEO of Say Media is right: mobile is killing media.
(Disruptive technologies disrupt even when you see the train wreck ahead of you on the tracks — there isn't much you can do.)
Here is Joshua Benton at Nieman Labs on the Meeker data: The scariest chart in Mary Meeker’s slide deck for newspapers has gotten a little scarier.