24.5.05

Speed Freaks

Täytyy olla varovainen missä ja milloin käy syömässä. Joskus aikaisemmin keväällä istuin työpaikan ruokalassa ja ennen kuin sain ruokani nautittua, huomasin luvanneenin kirjoittaa M&M Europe -lehteen artikkelin Suomen nettimaailmasta.

Sain brieffin lehden toimitussihteeriltä, jonka mukaan reilussa tuhannessa merkissä tulisi käydä läpi kaikki tärkeät asiat, jotka kotimaisessa nettimediassamme tällä hetkellä tapahtuu (tai ei tapahdu, ihan kuinka vaan).

Tehtävä oli siis mahdoton, mutta sain omasta mielestäni ihan kelpo kokonaisuuden aikaan. Ja mikä parasta, reilu viikko sitten julkaistu lehti on jo kirvoittanut hyviä palautteita ja kommentointia. Kaikki palaute on yhä erittäin tervetullutta!

Tässä siis vielä koko juttu luettavaksi, jos et M&M Europea käsiisi saa.

Speed freaks

In Finland, more than 50 % of the population now has broadband internet access. This figure makes the medium much more attractive to advertisers, writes PIRKKA AUNOLA.

In 2004, Finland had the highest growing rate in broadband subscriptions in the whole world. In just one year, the number of Finnish at-home broadband households rose by 60%. At the beginning of December 2004, more than 30% of households had a broadband connection. Of the 2,38 million Finnish households, there are now 750 000 that use broadband at home.

In a country with low population density, nearly anyone can now obtain a high-speed connection. Competition has cut broadband subscriptions prices by almost 50 % from 2003. With monthly fees under €20 and special, ‘free-and-easy’ installation offers from the operators, growth will certainly continue. The Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications anticipates there will be one million broadband households by the end of 2005.

On average, Finns spend 33 minutes a day online and 43 % of the Finns go online on a daily basis, according to a biennial cross-media study by TNS Gallup conducted in spring 2004. A second study by TNS conducted later in 2004 indicated the average amount of time Finns spent on the internet per day would grow as broadband becomes more common. While Finns a dial-up connection browse the internet 3,5 hours a week, those with broadband spend more than double that – about eight hours.

However, the time Finns devote to media has not grown during the past few years. If this same trend continues and the use of broadband grows as anticipated, the extra time spent online will be to the detriment of other media. In Finland as in the rest of Europe, it is young men – aged 15 to 21 years old – who are leading the way in internet usage.

This young male demographic can still be reached effectively via television advertising, but the internet is fast becoming its medium of choice. In late 2004, for the first time ever, a 15/30 Research study concluded that 15 to 21 year-old men spend more time on the internet than watching television. For example, males aged 15 to18 were found to spend 132 minutes a day on the internet and watch TV for 108 minutes.

Finns devote most of their time online to traditional media sites and their own websites. For example, the website for the commercial TV-channel MTV3 reaches almost 22% of the total population each week. MTV3 and MSN.fi are the most visited websites – both boast over 1,1 million weekly unique visitors.

But the younger and more active web users have a strong preference for more interactive websites. A good example is IRC-Galleria, the site that was created in 2000 by a group of online chatters who were interested to see what fellow chatroom people looked like.

The site is now a place where people can be seen and found – a Finnish equivalent of hotornot.com with a ‘community’ twist. In just a few years, IRC-galleria has become Finland’s largest youth website among the 18 to 24 year-old group. It has surpassed all the sites of the traditional media companies.

Another youth-created website taking full advantage of the broadband revolution is mikseri.net – a cross between a music download centre and web community. In a country where a garage band has a hard time getting its music onto the playlist of radio stations, mikseri.net offers a place for all bands to distribute their rights-free music to music lovers seeking an alternative to mainstream radio.

Mikseri.net differs from other music download sites in that it has a strong emphasis on community. People don’t listen to songs millions of times a month, but also evaluate them, chat with people, share stories and photos, and even create online fan clubs. The site offers bands a big online stage: the record companies a chance to find new talent with a solid fan base, and net users free music content.

These popular sites created by enthusiastic amateurs illustrate the change that is happening in the Finnish online scene: if the traditional media doesn’t offer younger users interactive content the users create it themselves.

From a marketers’ point of view the broadband has increased the complexity of ads, and has enabled the provision of fixed spaces that are suitable for video advertising. So far, it has mostly been just bigger, international advertisers that have taken advantage on this change. Local advertisers are being slow to invest.

The highest-spending online advertiser in Finland in 2004 was Finnish-Swedish operator TeliaSonera, witch spent twice as much on online advertising as its rivals DNA Finland (fifth) and Elisa (sixth). Other companies included in the top ten were Finland Post Group, Veikkaus (the Finnish national lottery), Microsoft, package holiday providers Tjäreborg and Finnmatkat, HP and Unilever.

In 2004 online advertising was the fastest growing advertising medium in Finland at 35,7 %. This growth was mainly due to an increase in the number of online advertisers. Now, in addition to companies with online sales channels, car and clothing companies are joining the ranks.

Even though online advertising has been increasing over the past few years, online is still a small marketing medium in Finland. Ad revenue amounts to about €15m – 1,5 % of total marketing spend.

One obstacle to its growth is the way it is sold: fixed positions are offered on a weekly basis, which has meant the most visited and popular websites are fully booked months ahead. Evidently, there is room for new online media, but traditional media owners have been slow to develop online to take full advantage of high-speed connections and interactivity. And the international players have shown little interest in a small Finnish market.

Jälkikäteen lisätty PS

Joku kysyi minulta, että mikä jutun pääpointti oikein on. Miksi olen kirjoittanut niin kuin olen kirjoittanut. Jos en saanut sitä tarpeeksi selvästi sanottua (mitä en ilmeisesti saanut, tai sitten aina voi syyttää ulkomaista toimitussihteeriä) niin tässä on mielestäni jutun ydin:

  • Monet perinteiset mediatalot ovat menettämässä otettaan verkkomaailmassa. Ja mikä pelottavinta: Heitä ei tunnu edes yhtään pelottavan se.
  • Mutta toisaalta: Kuka sanoo, että kaikki viisaus ja kehitys täytyisi tulla mediataloilta. On hienoa, että ihmiset alkavat ymmärtää sen, että he voivat olla itse osana kehitystä.

    Mahdollisuus siirtyä median kuluttajasta myös median tuottajaksi on mielestäni ehkä hienointa, mitä nettimedialla on tällä hetkellä tarjota. Siihen eivät muut mediat pysty, vielä.

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