“WAVE has been instituted to provide an ongoing assessment of such changes as the scale and power of the internet grows,” said Anamika Mehta, COO, Lodestar Universal. “This unique proprietary study captures the facts behind the hype to provide genuine insights to advertisers on how to market to this new consumer world.” The latest round, WAVE 4, covers 24,000 respondents across 40 markets, offering perspective on the increasing scale and power of peer to peer communication.
According to the findings, blogs are now being used to share a wider range of content than ever before be it photos, videos, recommendations or opinions. It’s not just the range of content that is expanding but also the range of topics. Blogging personal information has now become the dominant theme.
However, it is social networking that shows continued growth even though it has already reached high levels of penetration. At a global level, social networking sites are now the single largest source of friend networks either on or offline. The number of contacts that people have via social networking sites has risen by 60% in the last year. Further, there is an increased active participation with sharing of more personalized content.
More Indians are managing social network profiles at 78%; visiting friends’ social network pages (82%) and uploading photos (77%).
China dominates all spheres through sheer numbers; however developed markets like the USA have seen a huge growth as well. All forms of music and TV content downloads, both legal and illegal, continue to grow. Legal downloading has seen a significant and positive increase as industry embraces digital content distribution.
Amongst the other options pod-casting is yet to make a significant impact remaining static at a global average of around 43% compared to last year. The maximum growth is in the USA followed by Denmark and Hong Kong. RSS usage also shows growth as users continue to grapple with the issues of managing online content. The largest markets lead for RSS feeds, but penetration still remains low for the maturing digital markets; RSS feed subscriptions are led by China (58%), Philippines (56%) and India (54%).
“Social media is a very fast-evolving landscape and one that’s taking an increasingly important role in consumers’ digital lives. Every element of digital media is becoming socialized, providing marketers with new ways to engage a target audience like never before,” added Mehta. “Brands that want to engage with consumers in these spaces need to understand how and where and why they are using the many different platforms that enable content creation and sharing.”