Recently when I watched Barack Obama's 2013 presidential inauguration ceremony online, a picture of the family of four looking at their smartphones formed an interesting contrast with a 2009 inauguration picture in which they were talking happily. This is also evidence of the great attraction of the mobile digital media.
In the past, people watched TV according to the broadcaster's schedule. Even when they had video-recording facilities, they first had to preset the recorder, in case they missed an episode.
Today, TV may be watched not only according to one's own schedule but also anywhere and anytime.
And it is not just for local programs. It also applies to those from overseas. No wonder TV ratings have been falling. Even if local broadcasters can stop the government from issuing more licenses, they will not be able to block overseas competition.
I recently studied the findings of an overseas survey concerning the effect online TV-program streaming has on TV ratings.
The data pointed out that in 2006, there were more people watching TV as a result of streaming services. I guess in the past, viewers lost interest in watching a serial after missing several episodes. But, with streaming services, they could follow the episodes they missed.
However data from last year showed fewer people were watching TV. I believe the viewing habits of the audience have totally changed. Today they mostly watch on mobile phones or tablet computers.
Now the strongest competition for outdoor media is the mobile phone. Everyone has become a smartphone addict. In the wake of the internet, advertising in overseas newspapers has been rapidly shrinking.
However, according to industry group admanGo', advertising in Hong Kong newspapers has risen by 20percent.
Though the validity of this figure is doubtful, the lives of newspapers have been prolonged by free newspapers.
But the younger generation only use mobile phones or tablet computers to read news. So, free newspapers may, in the end, be only interim products.
There's no doubt that mobile digital media have already become most important and something of strategic value. Media guru KK Tsang takes a candid look at life.