The online media revolution is accelerating


On the occasion of a morning of prospective reflection on the future of online media, organised on Thursday 29 March at France Télévisions headquarters, GESTE brought together several dozen experts to better understand these new markets, but also to understand their evolution, challenges and opportunities.

The various speakers took turns mentioning the dizzying figures. Olivier Ezrattya digital media specialist and Michel Lévy-Provencal, founder and president of the company. Joshfire, a company specializing in the development of applications for connected objects, are talking about 7 to 8 billion* connected objects* worldwide in 2012. A figure that, according to specialists, should reach 25 or even 50 billion in 2020.

This strong trend is supported by the fragmentation of uses. New intelligent and connected objects are constantly appearing in the landscape, at home (Smart-Home) or around you (Smart-City).

All objects, whatever they are, his car, the mirror of his bathroom or his washing machine, tend to integrate a minimum of digital functionalities, while being connected and interconnected. While this proliferation of intelligent objects can sometimes be frightening, it also provides a formidable space for creativity: out of the 25 billion connected objects promised for 2020, nearly half are still to be invented.

With regard to the French market for connected screens, Olivia Brunet, head of research and customers in the Telecom and Equipment department of Médiamétrie specifies that in the 4th quarter of 2011, France had 39.9 million Internet users, 19 million mobile users (+23% in one year) and already nearly 1.7 million users of touch tablets, the new tablonauts. Médiamétrie has set up a new automatic audience measurement panel, firstly for smartphones, and more recently a usage measurement for touch tablets, in order to study surfing on applications and sites of tablonauts. The results presented are available from this link : Link to the study.

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Another major trend in the online media sector is, more than ever, speed.

Maciej Wicha, director of digital services for the publisher AGORA SAIn the online media sector, business models in order to remain profitable must, above all, integrate the time dimension," explains the Polish multi-channel media company. You have to go fast, very fast, even if you make mistakes, but there is no room for hesitation. While we launched 3 projects per year in 2005, we have launched 50 in 2011 and have shortened the time it takes for all our projects to go online to less than three months. We are designing simpler projects, but faster. We launch them, we listen to our customers and then we adapt them, and if the projects are not successful, we stop them. Today, to take advantage of a new online project, you have to be among the first. »

Other major changes affecting online media are first the primacy of the customer experience, currently via social networks like Twitter or Facebook and the need for personalization, and secondly the co-creation of value. Users, readers, listeners, viewers have now taken a central place in online media ecosystems and are value creators in their own right. The last final of the US SuperBowl, which is the highest TV audience score of the year in the USA, generated an average of 10,000 tweets per second this year, bringing the event to life on the web outside the stadium and the TV sets. By comparison, in France, a major political programme watched by 5 million people can generate up to 50,000 tweets.

Eric Scherer, Director of Foresight, Strategy and International Relations at France Télévisions says: "What has really changed today is the permanent dialogue with viewers, before, during and after the show. There's a real dynamic and enthusiasm among viewers who haven't waited for the arrival, yet to come, of connected television. Viewers immediately grabbed existing tools such as Twitter or Facebook to network and engage in conversation with each other and the media. »

Jean-Yves Stervinou, founder and president of the community website DevantLaTélé.comI came up with the idea of creating this site because I wanted to meet other viewers and talk to them on the internet when I was watching a live TV show or event. What is important and exciting is to be able to share an experience, together, with all the other viewers wherever they are. This new trend puts the live back into the heart of the content because these social network gathering phenomena are almost only realized around live events. »

Finally, through the testimonies of the representatives of the different media families: internet, radio, press and television, a strong trend of homogenization of ecosystems also emerges. Whatever the original traditional media, the final model to be achieved remains more or less the same with a sustainable competitive advantage for those who benefit from a large video library. Video is becoming the central medium in a multi-screen universe.

Sébastien Valère, director of marketing and digital operations for L'Equipe 24/24explains how the L'Equipe group is currently creating a new HD television channel, whose architecture and content are entirely designed and thought out based on the information available on the digital base of the website, and the use that readers make of it through their computer, smartphone or tablet.

Grégoire Lassalle, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Group AlloCiné confirms that the major competitive advantage of its group today lies in their large stock of videos, on which the entire international development strategy is based.

Conversely, Joel Ronez, Director of New Media at Radio France, explains how today radio stations find themselves forced to catch up on images and videos, which will take a little longer. In any case, everyone, whatever the traditional media of origin, anticipates tremendous opportunities in terms of audience development and distribution. The advent of the new smart screens, smartphones, tablets and smartTv, represents a major opportunity for growth and development.

In this context, Philippe Jannet, Chairman of the Geste, recalls: "The multiplication of screens, formats and uses obliges publishers to constantly adapt their offers, their business model and their relationship with the end customer. They oblige us, whatever the field of origin of our brands, to consider them in a global way, with however specificities linked to the medium, its use, its temporality. From the website to the multiplicity of digital broadcasting, our businesses have undergone radical change. Beyond social networks, the user, the prospect that we would like to be a customer, has become the focus of our offers. The challenge is now to captivate him from one screen to another, to allow him, via the cloud, to continue reading or consulting from a mobile screen to a connected television, to then take it back to his computer... But what technology simply allows, the control of networks, blinds or screens themselves, makes it much more complex for us...".

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* The number of connected objects includes sensors that do not exist on the network but collect and compile data for network actors. (The share of sensors in the total figure is not confirmed)

About GESTE - Group of Online Services Publishers.

Chaired by Philippe Jannet, Le GESTE, a group of online content and service publishers, is an association created in 1987 that brings together the main market players in the press, television, music, classified ads, community sites and online gambling sectors. All converge towards the same objective: to participate in the creation of economic, legislative and competitive conditions essential to the development of online services and editions.

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