The Impact of Digitalization – a generation apart
KPMG has released a 36-page report on how digital media are affecting work, play and relationships across Europe, and in particular how Generation Y is interacting with that media.

The paper contains interviews with industry experts and a summary of consumer research, based on interviews with 3,000 people in Germany, Spain, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the U.S.A in December 2006.

The document is not particularly innovative in the description of the technological and social changes taking place. More insightful is its analysis of the impact on business, although it positions KPMG a bit too much as the wise guide for companies trying to adapt to these changes.

Broadly, there have been four big developments in the online world in the past few years. The first is the decline in the cost of media distribution—thanks to digitisation and broadband—which has helped to make even relatively unloved content commercially viable. The second phenomenon [...] has been the rise of user-generated content perhaps better described as “participatory media”. [...] The third development is the rise of sharing. [...] The way in which information is organised is also changing – phenomenon number four. Instead of a traditional hierarchy of information by experts, i.e., a taxonomy, web users are increasingly categorising online content—web pages, photographs and links—for themselves. given rise to new businesses. [...]

With the costs of distribution tumbling, media companies should spend less time trying to find blockbusters, and more time trying to make it easy for consumers to find the stuff that interests them, however arcane. [...] Media companies [should also] incorporate user-generated content into their own offerings, [...] make offline content richer and more analytica, [...] and reduce the cost of traditional content generation.

Download report (pdf, 1 mb, 36 pages)