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2011 promises to be a big year in the evolution of the GlobalWebIndex product, with the expansion to 26 markets and 3 waves. We are shortly road mapping for 2012 and we welcome your feedback on expansion, should our focus be more markets, or growing the size of our existing markets?

Of course we are not just a data provider and our other area of focus will be the continual development of our analysis for clients. We will be launching a new monthly update for clients, covering the key trends in the industry and how this is reflected in our data. This will be emailed to you to share with your organisation, and published on the client site.

We will also be rolling out the first of our annual reports next week, identifying the leading trends driving the global internet market. The 2011 report is called “Welcome to Social Entertainment” and is now available to all clients prior to release to download and distribute in your organisation from the "Insight Reports" page. This will be released externally from the 17th of January.

2011 will be an exciting year. The internet is being re-engineered from the singular open platform we know to the multitude of packaged platforms . This will impact all areas of how we get online, the content we create, and share and consume and the way we socialise. This needs insight and explanation and we aim to provide you with our global view and expertise. Below is a summary of the focus and outcomes of the 2011 annual report.

We welcome your feedback and thoughts.

To a happy 2011!

The GlobalWebIndex team

Introduction to the annual report 2011: “Welcome to Social Entertainment”

The first year of the GlobalWebIndex has revealed three clear trends in the consumer adoption of the internet. In combination they are driving a new age of social entertainment through internet platforms. In this report, we analyse the current global situation and the opportunities for the future for professional media, content producers and brands:

  • Social media has reached mass maturity. Today it’s no longer about massive growth but a shift of already active social consumers to ‘real-time’ technologies, such as status updates or tweets. The old view of text-based social media, defined by blogs and forums, is being surpassed, moving the impact of social media, from creating content and publishing to sharing other people’s content and ‘live’ opinions about real-world events. In short ‘real-time’ is re-orientating consumer from creator to distributor and moving the focus to traditional media and professional content.
  • The open browser-based web is losing out to packaged internet platforms such as mobile apps, internet connected TVs, tablets, e-readers, pc apps, gaming and video platforms. These packaged platforms are re-engineering the internet and destroying the notion of the internet being a singular entity. Crucially for the entertainment revolution, they provide professional media with the means to create sustainable internet business models, something the economics of the browser-based web totally failed to enable.
  • Professional “traditional style” content is now a core part of the consumer online experience. Internet platforms, for hundreds of millions of consumers, are increasingly the entertainment platform of choice. This is due to continual growth of professional content in video sites (legal and illegal), the rise of ‘real-time’, and the growth of packaged platforms.

These trends will revolutionise our view of the internet. In particular, the packaged internet will transform the way we get online, the content we consume, and the ways we can create, share and communicate. Going forward five years it is clear that many people’s internet experience will not be through a browser, but through some form of packaged platform. While many ‘internet purists’ will bemoan their lack of openness, the creation of barriers to entry, and shift in control to small numbers of gatekeepers, packaged platforms crucially enable professional media to create sustainable businesses online without having to change the way that the open web works.

This is as important, if not more important, for a healthy society as enabling consumers to publish and share their opinions or content. The open browser based internet has failed to create the economics to deliver professional media business online, as advertising could not demand the premiums needed and consumers are unwilling to pay for content delivered through a browser. These changing commercial opportunities will capitalise on the consumer demand for social entertainment online. They will however have to change the way that they create and deliver content and make sure they integrate social technologies into their product.

Increasingly ‘real-time’ social will be integrated with the traditional content experience. Imagine live Twitter style messaging around major TV events or programming recommended by your social network. This will extend the impact of social media outside of the browser as well as surpassing the old models of delivering media, such as cable TV, satellite, radio or newspaper

2011 and beyond is a promising to be an extremely interesting period of innovation. Next year the GlobalWebIndex will track these shifts through 26 countries, 3 waves of research and 90,000 surveys.

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