It’s almost the end of 2017 and perhaps it’s the right time to predict the future of Hong Kong media. Although many might think the industry enters another “dark age”, it is not as worse as the majority think. We observed some promising trends of Hong Kong media landscape this year:
Hong Kong is the “most mobile” market in terms of news consumption, according to the Digital News Report 2017 (DNR17). Hong Kong is also among the markets where mobile notifications are the most popular means of news distribution. Meanwhile, Hong Kong ranked third in sharing news via instant messaging. It should be noted that such sharing method can help media reach more target audience. In this way, efforts of traditional media going online finally paid off and more self-financed media is possible when the cost of news distribution become lower.
DNR17: Hong Kong is top in “mobile”
Hong Kong ranked the fourth among territories where consumers subscribe to online news. According to the report, 21 percent of interviewees have an on-going subscription or other types of news payment. One point to note is that paywall can help the media to earn sustainable cash flow. Access to prominent local brands requires some form of subscription, such as Hong Kong Economic Journal and Hong Kong Economic Times. Meanwhile, readers search for alternative news choices and become conscious in supporting online non-profit news organizations via crowdfunding or donations.
DNR17: Hong Kong ranked second in paying for news
Meanwhile, Hong Kong advertising spending on digital media is expected to surpass traditional media in 2017 for the first time and will continue in the next few years. According to the Advertising Spending and Projections 2017 by Nielsen, about 51% of the advertisers spend the budget on the online campaign and over half is expected to be paid Ad. About 74% believe that online marketing is more relevant and effective in delivering marketing campaigns. Online media is expected to make money from Ad.
Hong Kong also ranked highly compared to other Asian markets on questions regarding trust in the news. A total of 42 percent respondents in Hong Kong said that they trusted the news while 48 percent said they trusted the news media they used. It’s noteworthy that the trust in media also contributes heavily towards the reader’s perception on the issue of fake news. In this case, we are doing our job as a gatekeeper of news pretty well.
DNI17: Hong Kong readers put more trust in news media
Although Hong Kong is the most “mobile market”, there is an increasing concern and awareness from both media and readers themselves on the over-reliance of using social media to reach readers. People began to seek alternative tools to get or deliver the latest news. For instance, there is a migration trend of Hong Kong online reporters and bloggers from the Facebook fan page to Medium in response to the recent Facebook test in splitting the news feed among six countries: Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala and Cambodia that result in 0 organic reach rate. Readers become more willing to download different news Apps developed by the media themselves. More traffic towards the news website itself can be expected.
All the signs show that the future of Hong Kong media is bright.
It’s good to know that digital advertising spending surpasses traditional one. Although a large portion of the spending goes to platform like Facebook/ Google, the demand for content curators/ campaign designers is still high. Media professionals have the right skill set for those activities.