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Future Media Strategies Vs Changing Consumer Lives

Future media strategies need to take account of changing consumer lives

One of the fundamental aspects for media companies to consider when developing future business strategies is how their audience is changing. Without thorough knowledge about trends in society's make-up, decision-making becomes guesswork. In order to give publishers just such knowledge, Ifra has published "Demographic and Socio-Economic Trends in Northern America and Europe up to 2020". The report is the fourth one published as part of Ifra's three-year research initiative "Where NEWS?", which has a budget of over €1 million.

The new report was commissioned by Ifra and researched and written by IWG (Institut für Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft) Bonn. As the title suggests, the 65-page report covers both purely demographic aspects, such as the ageing population, and socio-economic trends such as increased urbanisation, migration, household fragmentation, the growing income spread and changes in education. The findings are supported throughout by tables and graphs.

The objective of the "Where NEWS?" initiative is to predict changing media consumption in the coming five, ten and fifteen years, which in turn will help newspapers formulate their business development strategies. In this context, research on demographic and socio-economic change is vital. Says Jochen Dieckow, responsible for Business and New Media Research at Ifra and project leader for "Where NEWS?": "This report provides vital projections for anyone making strategic decisions about future business development in the media market. Within the "Where NEWS?" project, we considered it fundamentally important to include a report which looks at the demographics and socio-economic trends of the coming ten to fifteen years. Without knowing how consumers' lives are going to change, long-term strategy-making becomes very difficult. We hope that the new report will act as a tool and support to decision-makers in media houses throughout Europe and Northern America."

Some of the findings of "Where NEWS?" Report No. 4
In the next ten to fifteen years people in Northern America and Europe will be on average older than they are today. A growing number of them will have migrated. More often they will live in towns and cities and despite their increasing average age they will be more mobile or at least as mobile as today. People will live alone or in couples more often than is the case now. With regards to income, in most households the disposable income will rise only slightly or even stay at today's level. Although more people will be technically better trained in the future, not all will be able to keep up with the growing demands for qualifications. Education and qualification differences will increase. More people of working age will be pursuing gainful employment than today, although working hours per employed will fall.

At the same time a growing proportion of the population will have free use of its time, since it will be excluded from working life. This group will spend a major part of its time consuming media. Reading newspapers will continue to be a part of this. Yet increased use of other media, such as the Internet, can be predicted for older people too.

To obtain the Reports
Ifra members can access free of charge all information and results of the new "Where NEWS?" project under the web address They can also receive the corresponding reports free of charge by mail and, on request, a special folder in which to file them. Non-members can buy the reports.

Ulrike Leis-Kolb Ifra will be pleased to provide all details about how to obtain Ifra Special Reports. She can be contacted by phone at +49.6151.733-772 or by e-Mail
For more information about Ifra Special Reports, see

The following Reports of the „Where NEWS?" series has been published so far:
– No. 1: "Business Models of Newspaper Publishing Companies" (2006).
– No. 2: "Strategy-Making in Changing Industries" (2006).
– No. 3: "The Future Development of Media and Communication Technology (2007).

The following reports will be released in September:
– No. 5: "Economic and Selected General Framework Conditions in North America and Europe up to 2020".
– No. 6: "Drivers of Change in Media Channels".

Correlating Ifra Event
The following Ifra Event is correlating with the "Where NEWS?" project:
– "Business Models for Newspaper Publishers - The conference for entrepreneurial spirit":
25 - 26 October 2007 in Lisbon, Portugal (languages: English, German and Spanish).


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