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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Two-Speed Economy and 2017 US Media

Economists generally define a “two speed economy” as one in which different sectors are performing significantly differently at the same time. Generally, I have observed the two speed occurrence in markets where there has been significant natural resource activity. Venezuela, Nigeria, even Canada during oil or metal booms were great examples and Australian in 2012 was a recent entry when it seemed that their entire commodity, coal and base metal output was shipped to China. Those involved with the boom sector(s) were doing great while some miles away boarded up storefronts and unemployed citizens were the norm.

Today, we see the two-speed economy really hitting its stride in the United States consumer arena.  Online shopping continues to boom and brick and mortar retailing is to put it charitably, challenged. Look at our holiday season sales if you need verification.

Why bring this up in MR? Well, a number of people have asked me to provide a 2017 media forecast. I have politely responded to each with the comment that I have never in my life been more uncertain about the US or global economy or what our new political leadership will do next year. So, a forecast with any specificity seems impossible at this point.

What I am certain of is that a “two-speed media economy” will likely get even more pronounced relative to 2016. Conventional or legacy media will continue to garner a smaller share of the advertising pie with absolute declines likely in Local TV, newspaper and national magazines. Digital and social media should see solid gains with mobile being a big winner regardless of overall economic performance.

I wish all of you a happy, healthy and very prosperous 2017. This year I heard from readers in over 100 countries and appeared to have been read by professionals in 152 countries. I love to hear from you and thank you for your constant encouragement.

If you would like to contact Don Cole directly, you may reach him at doncolemedia@gmail.com

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