New market disruptions take root in non-consuming contexts. For instance, mobile phone photography began not because early phone cameras were good. They weren’t good at all but good enough when a camera was not within reach. The quality was poor but the photo taken would not have otherwise been taken, making a lousy photo better than no photo.
The result is that the total number of photos taken this year will be ten times higher than the total number of photos taken before the advent of mobile phone cameras.
This rush to use the phone as a camera has meant that phone makers are keen to improve their product (so as to compete effectively with it against each other) and as a consequence they overtake the incumbent camera makers in quality as well as quantity.
The same phenomenon was experienced by fixed component “Hi-Fi” audio products. The quality of mobile music was poor but it was convenient and convenience translated into consumption and consumption translated into quality improvement and eventually the evaporation of usage of the traditional category.
Now consider how ad dollars are getting spent. The following chart shows the eMarketer forecast for ad spending mix across different media in the US.
It would appear that the “Mobile” media is competing effectively against the other media types, especially the non-Mobile digital (i.e. PC-based experiences).
However, if we look at the absolute spending forecast the picture shows that Mobile is responsible for most of the growth in the overall spending.Notes:
- The total number of photos taken in 2014 is likely to be around 880 billion. Prior to 2000 the total number of photos ever taken is estimated at 85 billion. [↩]