10.22.2007 10:40 AM
Microsoft’s Ballmer predicts all traditional media will disappear in 10 years

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer laid it on the line last week: All traditional media, including television, radio and print, will disappear within a decade. It will all morph into a new personalized media environment that will be delivered digitally over the Internet.

In his opening keynote presentation at the Association of National Advertisers’ “Masters of Marketing” conference in Phoenix, Ballmer told his advertising-centric audience that the rapidly changing media landscape will have tremendous ramifications for marketers, ad agencies and publishers.

“Within 10 years, the consumption of anything we think of as media today, whether it is print, TV or the Internet, will in fact be delivered over IP and will all be digital,” Ballmer said. “Everything will be delivered digitally.”

Ballmer predicted that future media will be tailored to the personal tastes of individual members of the audience, even narrowed down enough to allow viewers to watch local high school sports events on their home television.

“We will have rich databases of information to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time in any communication,” Ballmer said. “As soon as you assume that everything is delivered digitally, all media and all advertising will have to take that into account.”

The association’s president and CEO, Bob Liodice, said the Phoenix event was about “transforming the marketing landscape,” which he said is already shifting to digital media.

One marketer in tune with the transformation, Liodice said, is American Express, a company that once spent 85 percent of its budget on TV ads but now invests less than one-third of its dollars on TV advertising. Instead, American Express has focused its ad efforts on the Internet.



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