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Deloitte’s State of the Media Democracy Tracks the Illusive Digital Omnivore

sheldon cooperSsh. . . don’t disturb the digital omnivores. You can get a little closer if you’re quiet. Generally, they’re too engrossed in their media device to notice you, but if they sense you’re reading over their shoulder. . . look out. . .it could get ugly.

The new Deloitte State of the Media Democracy survey says that there’s been a dramatic rise in the digital omnivore population. 26% of consumers have morphed into one of these creatures because they own a laptop, a smartphone and a tablet.

Here’s an amazing fact. Tablet ownership is up 177% over last year. How crazy is that?

Digital omnivores are passionate creatures.

93% said that Internet access is the most valued household subscription. (Take that Sunday newspaper.) More than half said they’d pay extra in order to get a little more speed on the information superhighway.

Unfortunately, their eyes are often bigger than their digital appetite. Almost half are buying more e-books than they can consumer while tablet owners, as a subset, stream movies 70 times more often that non-tablet owners.

Digital omnivores are so dependent on their mobile devices, many are cutting the cord on more traditional options. For example, only 30% of millennials pay to keep a landline in their home and only 46% pay for TV. And why should they? They can watch everything they want via the Internet or download and since they always have a cell phone in their hand, who needs a household phone?

deloitte snip 2You have to wonder what this means for the cable and telephone industries. Is it possible we’ll reach a point where they’ll both become obsolete? More likely, they’ll both just mutate into providers of on demand and mobile services – the kinds of services digital omnivores live on.

But here’s an interesting fact – “Renting is the New Owning.”

According to Deloitte, more than twice as many consumers plan to rent rather than own video entertainment. It’s an interesting sidestep from where we were ten years ago when everyone was rushing to Blockbuster to rent the latest movie. Now, it’s tough to find a Blockbuster but Redbox spits out an average of 1600 DVDs a minute. Even Amazon gives customers a choice of buying a movie download or just “renting” a digital file – a concept that feels wrong when you think about it. You can even “rent” ebooks from Amazon or the local library. They’re like tiny, ticking time bombs that go off and disappear from your ebook reader when they reach their expiration date.

What this means is that the digital omnivore population is going to continue to grow and at some point, it’s likely to become the dominant species on our planet.

So what I’m saying (to all of you who only have a PC and a landline) resistance is futile. Eventually, you will be absorbed.