The Rise of Social Media against Print Media – UAE’s Accountants and Auditors Analysis

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User-friendly internet tools, improved connectivity and cheaper advanced mobile devices have all changed the game of media throughout the world. This has made the leading Newspaper and Media Companies of UK and USA to rethink about their strategies and evolve to avoid the dilemma faced by Non Adaptive Companies like Yahoo. The demise of Yahoo was not caused by the rising Google, it was the result of a non adaptive approach which led Yahoo out of business. The easiest decisions which Yahoo did not take were:

1. Not to buy Google when it was cheap – even at a million dollars
2. Not to buy Facebook by depreciating the value which the investors of Facebook offered
3. And not to salvage their sinking ship with the last big bid of acquiring Microsoft

An example of strong social media rise in the past few years can be seen from the aftermath of Iranian Elections in June 2009 about how the way media are produced, distributed and consumed has been changed by new internet tools such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Symptoms like reduced profits due to deepening recession, soaring newsprint prices, declining ad sales, slumping classified advertising and drops in newspaper circulation have all led to a number of newspapers towards closure, bankruptcy or large scaled cutbacks including staff layouts. One of the major reasons for all this has been a tough competition faced by print media from internet and social media. Just like any other country in the world, we being one of the leading Auditors in Dubai have seen these effects in UAE as well. The extent of these effects may not be that material as in any other country of the world mainly due to UAE’s culture to use print media, but advertisers have been cutting back their advertisement budgets. We have been observing while doing bookkeeping & accounting of our clients in Dubai that many business owners still use leading UAE newspapers like Gulf News, The National for advertisement of their products and services. However, a significant percentage of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises seem to have started spending in online advertisements.

We being one of the leading company formation consultants in Dubai have also seen new entrants in the UAE spending a major portion of their advertisement budget in online advertisements due to many reasons such as reaching to the target audience, maximum control on their spending, lack of resources to spend on print media advertisements etc.

Increasing usage of Giant Search Engines such as Google has also changed the readers’ habits. Readers are now more interested in seeking particular writers and blogs through targeted searches rather than going through agglomeration of newspapers. Technology revolution has resulted in receiving up to the minute information from social media rather than waiting for the daily newspaper to arrive at readers’ doorsteps.

Technology and social media has not only shaped how people look at the news and updates on the web. Social media has also changed the way people advertise and market their products and services. Advertisers have been cutting back their advertising budgets in publishing industry of UAE in an increasingly cautious market. We being one of the leading Auditing firms in Dubai – UAE have witnessed this fact while going through the books of accounts of different companies. Trend of television advertising has been flat with little increase in radio advertisements, whilst Abu Dhabi Media recorded a double digit growth in digital advertising. The global internet advertising revenue in the current year 2016 will surpass the advertising revenue of TV.

Connecting with audiences on digital screens has been a growing commitment among Advertisers these days. Content is a key to winning consumers’ attention. From a market perspective, Google dominates the Worldwide Search Ad Market. Nearly a third of all digital ads spending in 2016 will be taken by this search giant, generating $57.80 billion in worldwide digital ad revenue. From a social media market perspective, Facebook dominates the market, generating a revenue of $6.44 billion in the second quarter of 2016 while profit increased by 3 times as compared to a year ago to $2.06 billion.

The Social Media industry too is continuously evolving with LinkedIn recently acquired by Microsoft for $26.2 billion. No one knows what lies ahead and how print media, social media, news industry and advertising industry will all be shaped for us in the future. The key for Companies and Organizations however is to continuously evolve and adapt to the changing technology and environment, so as not to repeat the mistakes of once a giant like Yahoo.

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