How the Media World Is Changing—Fast!

Last weekend, I ran across a new version of “Did You Know?” (4.0). It is a video produced for the Economist’s Third Annual Media Convergence Forum in New York City on October 20–21, 2009. I was so impressed by the video, that I embedded a high-res version of it in my Leadership 2.0 Seminar, which I presented on Tuesday in San Diego.

If you can’t see this video in your RSS reader or email, then click here.

This video is fascinating. The only problem is that the statistics go by so fast, they are hard to really absorb. (That may actually be part of the video producer’s point: Everything is changing so fast, it is hard to absorb!)

Nevertheless, I transcribed the video’s text on a plane ride, so that I would have the facts at my fingertips. Here they are:

  • A surge of new technologies and social media innovations are altering the media landscape.
  • Convergence is everywhere. It is easier than ever before to reach a large audience, but harder than ever to really connect with it.
  • These changes are affecting the way people behave. Are you ready for the future?
  • Well over 1 million new books are published worldwide every year.
  • A Google Book Search scanner can digitize 1,000 pages an hour.
  • Americans have access to:
    • 1 trillion web pages
    • 65,000 iPhone apps
    • 10,500 radio stations
    • 5,500 magazines
    • 200+ cable TV networks
  • There are 240 million TVs in the U.S.; 2 million are in bathrooms. When was the last time you read a newspaper in the loo?
  • Newspaper circulation is down 7 million over the last 25 years. But in the last 5 years, unique readers of online newspapers are up 30 million.
  • This year (2009), traditional advertising revenue is in steep decline:
    • Newspapers advertising is down 18.7%
    • TV advertising is down 10.1%
    • Radio advertising is down 11.7%
    • Magazine advertising is down 14.8%
  • Meanwhile, digital advertising is growing rapidly:
    • Mobile advertising is up 18.1%
    • Web advertising is up 9.2%
  • 47% of broadcast television viewers say they would pay for ad-less programming.
  • More video was uploaded to YouTube in the last 2 months than if ABC, CBS, and NBC had been airing new content (with no re-runs) 24/7/365 since 1948 (which was when ABC started broadcasting).
  • ABC, CBS, and NBC collectively get 10 million unique visitors per month. These business have been around for a combined 200 years.
  • Myspace, Facebook, and YouTube collectively get 250 million unique visitors per month. None of these sites existed 6 years ago.
  • Forty million people have been Rickroll’d.
  • 95% of all songs downloaded last year weren’t paid for.
  • Wikipedia launched in 2001. It now features over 13 million articles in more than 200 languages.
  • Cisco’s new data switch could move all of Wikipedia in .001 seconds. Makes the wifi at the local coffee shop seem really, really slow, huh?
  • Not slow: Ang Chuang Tang of Singapore. He typed a Guinness Book of World Records-approved 160-character text on his cell phone in 41.52 seconds. That’s about 4 characters per second. OMG!
  • Pop Quiz: how many text messages does the average teen send every month? 584? 1,150? 1,612? Nope. 2,272. Above Average: Brady James of Los Angeles, California sent 217,541 text messages in March 2009.
  • Nokia manufactures 13 cell phones every second. 1,898 since this video started,
  • Right now, 93% of U.S. adults own a cell phone. But ⅓ don’t feel safe using it for purchases—unless we are talking about pizza.
  • Dell claims to have earned $3 million via Twitter posts since 2007.
  • In February 2008, John McCain raised $11 million for his U.S. Presidential bid. That same month, Barack Obama attended no campaign fundraisers. Instead, Obama leveraged online networks to raise $55 million in those 29 days.
  • How are you using social networking sites?
    • Among larger U.S. companies, 17% have disciplined an employee for violating blog or messages board policies.
    • Twitter played an unprecedented role in sharing information during the 2009 Iranian presidential elections.
    • All mentions of the disputed election were bumped from Twitter’s trending topics list when news of Michael Jackson’s death broke.
  • Jackson, Swine Flu, and Barack Obama have been this year’s top subjects for malware distributing emails.
  • 90% of the 200 billion emails sent every day are spam.
  • The mobile device will be the world’s primary connection tool to the Internet in 2020.
  • The computer in your cell phone today is a million times cheaper and a thousand times more powerful and about a hundred thousand times smaller than the one computer at MIT in 1965.
  • “So what used to fit in a building now fits in your pocket. What fits in your pocket now will fit inside a blood cell in 25 years.” —Ray Kurzweil
  • Now that’s convergence. And now you know.

The sources for all these stats are listed at the end of the video (at about 4:15). If you are so inclined, you can download them in Word or PDF formats.

Question: What impression did this video make on you?
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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • Connie Reece

    Thank you for this transcription! I bookmarked the video as a resource for statistics, but this makes it so much easier to access the data.

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  • Fran

    I fell in love with computers and networking (anyone remember Usenets? Bulletin Boards?) back in the late 80's. Thanks for helping me appreciate how far we've come.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Yes, I do remember BBS services. I was very active myself. Boy, it's so much easier today!

  • Bill

    Thank you for the fascinating video. The most profound statement in the video was "Convergence is everywhere. It is easier than ever before to reach a large audience, but harder than ever to really connect with it.." People are inundated with marketing campaigns with so many trying to reach them as evidenced by the 90% of email is spam statistic. The challenge for marketers and CEO's is how do I really CONNECT with my audience? What is their preferred method of communication?
    With all of the communicating going on it is a challenge to connect and build relationships that matter – especially in business. We can start with our existing customer base and understand their communication preferences and then move on to our prospects. Social media is an inexpensive way to connect, stay in touch and build your brand.
    Connecting in the way our audience wants to be connected with is a key to a successful relationship building strategy.

  • Brian

    You can also download the keynote presentation used to produce this at the following link:
    I am using the video with an auditorium full of teens and parents. Then, using elements from the keynote, going back to certain items and create some discussion between parents and teens about the changing culture and how it relates to the parent/child relationship and spirituality of our society.

    • Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for letting me know. I am downloading this resource now.

  • Gail

    This video moved too fast and was too much to absorb.

    Oh yeah. That's the point.


  • Chew

    Thank you so much for the video transcript (as well as the sources of the facts). I have been looking for it.

  • Cameron Curry

    Enjoyed reading this at my own pace. Enjoyed seeing it with you in San Diego too. Have a great weekend!

  • Peter_P

    It's a fascinating video and it highlights just how much the world is changing….

    But as you stated in the title, it's only the 'media' world.

    There are literally billions of people on the planet who have no access to and no use of and little or no access to any form of media.

    We still have to remember that we live in a bubble. We live in a world within a world. We get so wrapped up in believing that 'the world' is all about electronic devices and media and we completely forget that so many people still exist, quite happily, outside of our technological bubble.

  • patriciazell

    As with all other human achievements, our progress in communications has both positive and negative consequences. The biggest positives that I see are our free access to much more information and our ability to share what we believe. Of course, one big negative is the constant clamoring of that same information–sometimes it's hard to turn off the computer.

    As far as advertising goes, I never look at ads on websites, but I do read the ads in newspapers and magazines. Of course with television, I mute during most ads–although I do enjoy some of the ads that have consistent characters–or surf other channels.

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  • Steve

    I'm going to pose this question id a deliberately simplified form. One of the statistics given is one trillion web pages. With that many out there, I'm sure that I am probably missing some that I'd really like to see. How can I easily find which ones they are? One trillion is too many to sample individually. I don't want to spend a lot of time on this.

    My underlying point is that having many choices is not always a good thing. One could easily spend more time trying to sort out the best choices than benefiting from whatever choices are ultimately made. Do you see the dilemma here?


    • Michael Hyatt

      I have found helpful. You select the subject categories that interest you, and then it randomly serves you up the best sites on how people have rated them. It's one of those sites that the more you use it, the smarter it gets about your preferences. Thanks.

  • John Gallagher


  • Cheryl Lemine

    I attached this video to my Facebook page and asked those who view it to consider the statistics in light of God's way of providing us new avenues to let the world know how He loves them.

    Amazing how we can be around so much technology – even with regard to everyday matters – and still miss the message. May it never be so for us. May we use every communication method to lovingly demonstrate God's interest and desire to know us.

  • Scott McLeod

    Michael, thanks so much for helping to publicize the video and for providing a transcription of the presentation text. I've linked to you from the Shift Happens wiki!

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  • BLF

    I believe, more time we spend for electronic media, less time we've got for personal relations with family and friends. Yes, I do see the convergence of media in my family, too. At home, among 5 of us, we use 5 computers and 5 mobile phones. However we do not use any TV-set at all. I even disconnected the TV tuner from our media center PC. We concluded the TV content used to bring more Bad than Good to our family. Apparently, as our children use computers, I found it easier with PCs instead of TVs. Each kid's computer's activity is limited to 2 hours a day and their activities are monitored by a parental software. The rest of their free time is to be spent "off-line". I want the e-media to be complementary to our real social life, and keep them away from any chance to destroy our true relationship with others and with the natural world around us.
    I admit I enjoy the power of Internet. I love the fact I can participate to the global network of culture and knowledge while sitting at my desk in Warsaw, Poland, miles away from other readers of this blog. Still I say the most important medium is our dining room table. I know face to face evening discussions are much more important to let our kids and ourselves becoming the better people and changing the world into a better place to live.

  • Oloithiel

    Great. Now i can say thank you!,

  • Nydardon

    If you have to do it, you might as well do it right.,

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