ZenithOptimedia Publishes New Media Forecasts

By Peter Bernstein February 11, 2013

Sometimes reality actually trumps perception. The publication of new research by ZenithOptimedia on technology adoption is an example of this. The reason is that for all of us who thought that the United States is the leader in the adoption of new media technology, what the researchers found is not the case.

Without going into the details of the study, suffice it to say it is an eye-opener. Key findings include:

  • Smartphone penetration to double from 36 percent in 2012 to 72 percent in 2015
  • Tablet penetration to rise 177 percent and IPTV penetration to rise 36 percent over the same period
  • Norway ranks first for average penetration of new media devices in 2012

The New Media Forecasts identified the top 19 digital markets across the world, ranked according to a combination of absolute size and percentage of total adspend taken by internet expenditure. It includes data and analysis on how consumers use digital media; how internet advertising, social media and e-commerce are developing; and how quickly new media technologies are being adopted.

I won’t spoil the fun of reviewing the history and predictions about adoption rates for smartphones, tablets and IPTV for the period 2011 through 2015, except to say they validate the explosion of the first two, and the steady progress of IPTV. 

Where things got really interesting, and almost counter-intuitive was in the adoption rate analysis by country. Only the top 10 are in the graphic below, and conspicuous by its absence is the United States which ranks 12th and is expected to actually slip to 14th by 2015.

Image via ZenithOptimedia

As ZenithOptimedia says, “We expect Western Europe to remain at the forefront of the adoption of new media technology, accounting for four of the top five and seven of the top ten markets in 2015.”

Interestingly, this comes at a time when the European Union has just decided to defund its multi-billion dollar broadband stimulation fund that was to make all of Europe have at least 30Mpbs service by 2020. It would appear that ZenithOptimedia may need to adjust for this; however, who really needs to adjust should be U.S. policy makers, as this is a gap to mind with some serious ramifications.

Edited by Allison Boccamazzo
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