On March 19, 2009 MediaBUZZ celebrated its 5th anniversary at the posh venue “the Pod” on top of the National Library Board in Singapore. As online publishers from the first hour, we embrace of course the rise of digital media in the region and have therefore chosen the topic as the theme of the event.

Although our main focus was mainly on having a good party, we dipped into the past, present and future of the promising medium, with four short presentations from industry experts:

  • Ms. Vidya Subramanian Nath, Senior Industry Analyst with the Digital Media group at Frost & Sullivan delved with us into the past of digital media with an appropriate approach namely sending over an audio file from Mumbai.
  • Dr. Marc Randolph, who currently serves as vice-Chairman of the Digital Media Chapter for the Singapore infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF) talked vividly about the present situation of the promising medium.
  • Dr. Brian Heng, Deputy Director of the Singapore Business Federation, had the exciting task of imagining the future of digital media.
  • Last but not least, Faissal Houhou, the current vice-chairman of MEF (Mobile Entertainment Forum) gave insights from the mobile industry’s point of view.

Ms. Vidya Subramanian Nath
Dr. Marc Randolph
Dr. Brian Heng
Mr. Faissal Houhou

Collaboration and continuing communication are the buzzwords surrounding the outlook for digital media this year and the move by leaps and bounds of the industry emphasizes the medium. Indeed, the digital media market in Asia seems to be continuously growing as the industry finally gets the full picture of its capabilities. We at MediaBUZZ believe that the economic downturn will definitely give the digital media scene in the region an additional boost, as it offers a lot of advantages over traditional media platforms. It will successfully move forward simply due to its cost-effectiveness, interactivity, environmental friendliness and the fact that companies are increasingly looking at ways to engage and involve consumers always motivated by the rising ineffectiveness of mass media. 2009 could be the year when marketing strategies finally become more holistic, as more clients join the digital realm.

Yet, let’s be on the qui vive in the year ahead and make sure to keep up with fast-changing online user habits. Even during last night’s event, we could see that the attention spans nowadays are decreasing significantly due to multi-tasking or the fact that a speech is considered as irrelevant, now imagine a string of digital media information coming in at one time – maybe even perceived as bland? As marketers have often only a second to get the attention of a customer, relevance is definitely going to be a key driver in 2009 and search will therefore play a critical role here as well. So brands need to ensure a high degree of relevance and value in order to gain and maintain consumer’s attention and engagement. The topic of the March/April issue is on “Social Media and Web 2.0”, which we defined as another key area marketers should have an eye on in order to be part of the conversations as the move from advertisers to enablers will be the key to success.

Enough puff pieces on digital media at this point as the story in Asia will continue. Expect to hear more from us and let us keep you updated on the next big thing in the future digital media scene.

By Daniela La Marca