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Christian Media

Smartphones and Tablets Put the Squeeze on Broadcasters

Smartphones continue to drive the mobile landscape in the US, finally reaching 50% market penetration in 2012, according to comScore 2013 US Digital Future in Focus.

Smartphones and tablets explodeMeanwhile, “tablets emerged as one of the fastest devices in history to reach nearly 50 million owners.” In so doing, tablets “already achieved a level of adoption in three years that it took smartphones nearly a decade to reach.”

This means that radio and television broadcasters will be competing harder for listener and viewer attention than they ever have before. The use of smartphones and tablets to watch films and surf the Web is surging.

Companies like ATT and Verizon are being encouraged by the Federal government to create bigger, faster mobile networks to meet surging data demand.

Analysts estimate that by the year 2030 there will be 1 billion Web-ready cars on the road.

Car makers see access to Web-based services like Pandora or Facebook as important to car buyers as gas mileage and paint color, and they are racing to get Web-enabled vehicles on showroom floors now, not five to eight years from now.

All of these trends mean major change is afoot for broadcasters.

Opportunities for Christian broadcasters

  1. Each station will have an opportunity to develop relationships around biblical content, via sharing tools, outside their local markets.
  2. Highly scaled video and audio distribution and content syndication networks (platform-as-a-service) will level the playing field between broadcasters and giant Web companies. Christian stations and networks that would never have the resources or expertise to build, distribute and maintain their own digital apps will not be left behind.
  3. With the growing availability of digital audio and video, radio stations will be able to take advantage of video and vice versa for TV stations.
  4. Content creation is exploding in the church world, answering the need for original, local content that broadcasters – especially spoken word formats – must have to remain competitive and compelling.
  5. Scaled distribution networks and access to compelling gospel-focused content, shown free to those that need to be reached, will produce efficient business models and allow ads to support most digital channels.

Don’t procrastinate – there’s no time to lose. Proverbs 6:4

Procrastination is not a strategy

There is no denying that tomorrow’s Christian broadcasting experience will look very different from what we have known for the last 50 years. Consumers’ expectations for personalization, broad content choices, social networking and on-demand controls, on new platforms like smartphones, tablets, Internet connected TV’s and cars , is here to stay.

Adapting to changes in the mobile landscape is a requirement for any Christian media enterprise that wants to remain competitive. How to seize the opportunities may not be clear but it’s easier to see the future when you have a stake in building the innovations that shape it.

Don’t put it off.