ARF Audience Measurement 4.0: Traditional Media Have the Numbers to Buck Digital Challenge

Geoffrey Precourt
WARC Online

Betsy Frank, chief research & insights officer, Time, Inc., read out the full program blurb introducing back-to-back media panels at the Advertising Research Foundation's (ARF) fourth-annual Audience Measurement 4.0 Conference:

"'Traditional' Media in a Digital Age: Open Road vs. Digital Gridlock? Radio, print and outdoor are the media most perceived to be 'under threat' in the 21st Century. Are these so-called 'traditional' media being left behind in the digital realm, despite their best efforts to adapt or are they already finding new business models?"

Frank paused, looked out over her audience, and offered a word of caution to "all you electronic people": The media mix is changing so quickly, "you may be on this panel next year…. Actually, we should be glad that there was no road-kill analogy. The negative drumbeats have been kind of deafening.  Newspapers and the trade press have been sharing their own woes and bringing magazines along for the ride."
How do established media brands behave in new - and ever-evolving - digital environments? Does a need to morph into a new business model mandate abandonment of traditional brand attributes and a search for new points of marketplace differentiation?