“China is a good indicator for digital trends to come in West because of the different user behaviour and advanced mobile platform environment.” – Fabian von Heimburg
When the rest of the world was taking the steps towards mobile optimisation, China was setting the digital trend. By skipping laptops and desktops, they fully embraced the mobile platform. Fabian von Heimburg is co-founder and managing director of Hotnest, a digital advertising and big data analytics platform focused on the Chinese market.
Mobile consumption as a digital trend
We’ve all known this for a while now. Mobile consumption is the most convenient.” – von Heimburg.
From content and games to video and e-commerce – everything is found on mobile. Von Heimburg notes how it will soon be difficult for content-producers to adapt without becoming mobile-focused.
“Anybody who is truly interested in digital innovation and the user behaviour of the future should really take a closer look at the Chinese eco system.” – von Heimburg
Media fragmentation as a digital trend
It’s not just media legacy companies that are attracting big venture capital investment. Fragmentation is happening across the media landscape. Look at the likes of Buzzfeed, Vox Media and Quartz – all of their success is due to large investments.
Chinese markets are largely fragmented and dominated by small teams with social media accounts. This is despite the inevitable existence of large legacy media companies.
These new media companies “basically make up the new media market in China. Sometimes the influencer is one individual, sometimes they have a team of 20 supporting the individual brand.” – von Heimburg
The value placed on having your own voice and brand has led to the success of small media companies. One concern that has accompanied the fragmented landscape is the breeding ground it provides for fake news. China is combating this by putting a lot of energy into the role of media regulators.
The solution: aggregation, vetting and trust
von Heimburg indicates that it is “increasingly difficult to develop media companies at scale” in this environment and that it “is a trend that will only accelerate. It will be difficult for players to develop revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars, because there are so many of these smaller players around delivering content to users at a similar level of quality.”
The answer is big data and machine learning. This will address the issue of trust which should be a high priority for all publishers. By aggregating all content, vetting and rewriting stories, publishers can grow to be big media players.