AOL Chief: The Future of Media Is ‘Mobile’ (Video)
The future of nearly all media — and consequently, all advertising — is on our phones, said AOL CEO Tim Armstrong in a video memo to employees after announcing the sale of his company to Verizon.
The New York Times reports:
“If there is one key to our journey to building the largest digital media platform in the world, it is mobile,” he wrote, by way of explaining why AOL, a company known for its news and entertainment sites and its dial-up subscribers, was merging with a cellphone carrier.
Mr. Armstrong ended his memo, which was otherwise puffed with jargon indecipherable to many outside the world of advertising and media, with a clear message that could double as the catchphrase of his entire industry: “Let’s mobilize.”
His words — and the deal with Verizon he just helped engineer — are just the latest corporate reaction to a staggering shift in the way people across the globe get their news and entertainment. Over the last couple of years, we have collectively decided to use our phones to reach the Internet more than we ever used our computers to do the same thing. And like a horde of aggrieved vultures that has just seen its carrion spirited away to some other part of the savanna, the tech and media business is equally panicked and excited about the vast possibilities for making money from the shift.
At the moment, except for Google and Facebook — which together control more than 55 percent of the $42.6 billion worldwide mobile ad market, according to eMarketer — few companies have managed to navigate the transition from desktop computers to phones. The shift has shaken up just about everything for everyone, such as Internet portals like AOL and Yahoo; carriers like Verizon and AT&T; and eCommerce ventures like Amazon. Some industries — music and newspapers among them — were just figuring out the switch from physical media like CDs and print to the web. But the switch from the web to our phones is happening even faster than the transition away from physical media, and in many ways it is more profound.
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— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.Wait, before you go…
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