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Aussies turn away from trad media

News, 16 June 2016

SYDNEY: Australia's media landscape is being reconfigured as digital platforms become the norm and traditional media – and traditional institutions generally – no longer command the attention and respect they once did, new research has shown.

The latest Mind And Mood Report from Ipsos – which the research firm describes as Australia's longest running social trends study – highlighted the rise of "niche media", such as podcasts and documentaries, as sources of news.

"It's now quite possible to go through life in your own reality constructed only by social media," Laura Demasi, the report's research director, told B&T.

As an example of what she meant, she related how one group of Millennials couldn't tell researchers the name of the Prime Minister. "It's not that they're stupid," she said, "it's just that their 'new' media doesn't cover that."

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The research also found that, on any given day, one in five Australians weren't watching any TV. But "there's lots and lots of streaming," Demasi said.

One reason may be a widespread perception that mainstream media, and especially commercial TV, have dumbed down – "People constantly talk about how it's all full of crap celebrities and reality TV" – meaning "they're not held in the same sort of esteem they once were".

Demasi felt that, despite these issues, there would continue to be a place for free-to-air TV but she wasn't so confident about pay TV. "With streaming, I just don't know how they'll be able to compete," she said.

These shifts in the media landscape are paralleled in the wider world, where Demasi observed a "seismic shift" in where power resides.

"The days of those old pillars [media, corporations, government] guiding you in life are over," she stated.

"And that's led by the digital revolution which has empowered the individual like we've never seen in history. Those old institutions are going to have to fight hard to remain relevant in peoples' lives."

Data sourced from B&T; additional content by Warc staff