Survey: Ad-supported content best

Insiders predict traditional advertising will be eclipsed

A majority of industry executives expect that advertising-supported content will remain king and that digital advertising will eclipse traditional advertising during the next five years, according to a new survey.

Accenture's 2008 Global Media Content Survey found that 52% of more than 100 senior media and entertainment industry executives from North America, Europe and Brazil predict such a sea change.

When asked to predict the No. 1 business model in five years, 62% bet on advertising-supported models, well ahead of the 25% who cited subscriptions and 11% who expect pay-per-play services to lead.

When asked to identify the largest drivers of revenue growth through 2013, 66% cited distribution across multiple platforms, well ahead of the 24% citing new content types and the 10% who expect most from international growth.

Accenture, a consulting firm, found great consensus among industry executives about four key sources of revenue growth during the next five years: multiplatform distribution, shortform video, social media/user-generated content and advertising.

Shortform video led the way among content types seen as likely to generate the greatest growth ahead, gaining 38% of the vote, followed by online portal/publishing (23%) and video games (18%).

"It is great news that media organizations are developing a consistent strategic view of the key growth areas, but execution is slow," said Gavin Mann, head of digital media for Accenture's media and entertainment practice.

After all, 66% said they have less than 40% of required capabilities, leaving Accenture to argue that "companies need to implement new digital technologies or be left behind."

The consulting firm also found that there is widespread uncertainty as to when the mobile entertainment market will take off.