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Advertising Week 10th Anniversary Official Guide

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204 BRAND ED The decline in traditional media can be at- tributed to many things, both technological and cultural. As mobile platforms have improved in sophistication, people are reading, watching, and listening to content that once required three separate devices. The caveat? Small screens and limited battery power demand stories be told in Cliffs Notes fashion. Twitter was one of the first to capitalize on sharing informa- tion in 140 characters or less. Remember how jarring it was to read tweets when the platform first launched? Probably not—the human mind is amazingly quick at adapt- ing to new information delivery systems, as long as those systems provide the data that the consumer wants. So what does the consumer want? "You're looking at a population that is in- creasingly skeptical of traditional media," says Chris Altchek, co-founder and CEO of Mic, a digital news service directed at mil- lennials. "They want transparency in their reporting. They want to know who is writing the story and why those ideas are relevant." This is a direct reflection of the cultural moment we find ourselves in: 24/7 news means there is more information than ever before on what is happening in the world, but it also means the quality of that information ranges from excellent to out- right false. Moreover, so-called fake news claims made by the current administration have tainted public perception of the entire industry. In fact, only 17 percent of people believe news media to be "very accurate," according to a report by the American Press Institute. The transparency Altchek refers to can help ease some of this skepticism, which is why at Mic, reporters are encouraged to share their personal stance on the issues they cover. For instance, one African- American journalist who reports on race relations for the site disclosed that he'd had his first experience with the police at age 12, when he was arrested. Stories are reported with a point of view and often a first-person voice, an approach Altchek calls "powerful." Digital media outlets like Vox, Mic, Vice, and BuzzFeed all speak to this trend toward transparency and the personaliza- tion of the news delivered in an authentic, digestible format. Demand for a personalized format has played a major role in the dramatic rise of video content, which many believe is the future of digital media. In 2017, video will account for at least 74 percent of all online traffic, according to tech investment firm KPCB in San Francisco. "In the next five years, we're going to see the bulk of infor- mation consumption happening through video," Altchek believes. "There will be vir- tually no difference between your TV and your phone." Delivering information in this personal way builds an authentic connection with millennials in a manner that a more for- mal, ostensibly unbiased style of reporting cannot. What's important for marketers as well is that the voice that consumers hear most clearly is not necessarily the authori- tative one, it's the one that sounds most like themselves. Something similar is occurring in ad- vertising. According to a Google survey, 50 percent of internet users view video of a product that they're interested in before making a purchase. What's more, other re- search shows that three in four consumers have a better opinion of a brand after at- tending a live event where the company has a presence. The takeaway: Fewer people want slick commercials telling them what to think about a product, and more are look- ing for a direct interaction that creates trust between a consumer and a brand. "Now, information is coming at con- sumers at an incredibly high velocity that it is nearly impossible for traditional media to keep up. Maintaining control of your narrative means finding an authentic and transparent way to share information and be a constant presence in the conversa- tions that surround it." And that can only help both consumers and brands in the long run. • It's no secret that the tradi- tional media approach to packaging information is having less and less impact on the consumers it's try- ing to reach—and that the audience is shrinking by the month. Last year, the total weekday circulation for U.S. daily newspapers fell 10 percent, according to a report by the Pew Research Center. Meanwhile, in the past two years, news consumption on Facebook has risen nearly 60 percent. The decline in traditional media can be at- industry. In fact, only 17 percent of people to share their personal stance on the

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