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Social media consumption challenges traditional media

Social media - and blogs in particular - is becoming a more important part of global media consumption for internet users than some traditional media channels according to the latest survey from media agency Universal McCann.

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The global survey notes that in South Korea - "the market that's leading the world in digital trends" - 77% of internet users read blogs each week compared to just 58% reading the mainstream press.

Globally 73% of internet users are reading blogs with 48% including these consumer-generated content in their weekly media diet.

According to the survey, TV too is facing similar competition for eyeballs with 83% of internet users having watched a video clip and 59% viewing at least one clip every week.

It adds that there is no sign of a pause in the explosive growth of social media. Video clips, blogs, podcasts, social networks and RSS are all essential components of the online media diet.

While not all markets are as developed, in each of the 29 countries surveyed social media is becoming a key constituent of global media consumption.

This is the third time that the agency's Social Media Tracker has tested uptake of these new digital tools in markets as diverse as the USA, Brazil and Pakistan. With 17,000 respondents it is the world's most detailed survey of the Social Media revolution.

Key findings from Wave 3 include:

  • 83% watch video clips, up from 62% in the last study in June 2007
  • 78% read blogs, up from 66%
  • 57% of internet users are now members of a social network
  • RSS consumption is growing rapidly up from 15% to 39%
  • Podcasts are now mainstream digital content, listened to by 48%

"Social media is a mass medium for many internet users. Brands and marketers need to adjust rapidly to this revolution in way consumers are creating and digesting content. With every wave of research our Social Media Tracker is noting greater and greater growth for channels such as blogging, video clips and social networks," says Tom Smith, EMEA research manager at Universal McCann.

Other findings of note

A key driver for the growth of social media has been the rise of Social Networks. Members of social networks such as MySpace and Facebook are using these platforms for more of their online experience.

  • 22% of social network users have installed a widget or applications
  • 55% have shared photos
  • 22% have shared their videos
  • 31% have started a blog
  • The world's biggest social network is MySpace with 32% weekly reach followed by Facebook on 23%

Social media is a global phenomenon

  • Top markets for blogging - China 70% of internet users write a blog, Philippines 66% and Mexico 60%
  • Top markets for social networking - Philippines 83%, Hungary 76% and Poland 76%
  • China is the worlds largest blogging market with 42m bloggers versus 26m in the US
  • Social media is connecting the world and globalising media consumption

For a copy of the Wave 3 Report please visit

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