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Newsletter - Exclusively, the Bain study "The seven year itch" - Imagination and transmission: creating value(s)?


Presentation of the study Bain and Cie for the Forum d'Avignon 2012
"The seven year itch : imagination and transmission, creating value(s) ?"
Music and video game, readers and other tablets, connected games …The last seven years have seen the development of multiple technologies, with each of them supposed to revolutionize the media and entertainment economy.Have these evolutions lived up to their promises? Have the cultural consumption models observed in 2012 really created value – either use value, economical value, or social and cultural value? 

With a survey amont 7000 people in 8 countries, Bain underlines the fact that innovations which seem muddled are echoing in fact underlying trends of habits of consumption of cultural goods and services.
If the "age of reason" of the cultural industries is not coming any time soon, Bain tries a prospective exercise of modelling of value(s) by 2016, beyond the cycles of music, bookn audiovisual and video games, diverstity remains the main driving force of creation of value, confirming that today, imagination and and transmission remain more than essential to the creation of values.

To get more information about the edition 2012, click here
Since 2009, Bain&Cie is a partner of the Forum d'Avignon and carries out studies every year.



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The interview of Patrick Béhar
Patrick Béhar is a partner in the Paris office of Bain & Company and heads the firm’s Media and Entertainment Practice in Europe and the Middle East.
  • In the framework of the think tank of the Forum d'Avignon, you have been producing a study to be unveiled on November 15. What are the first trend?
For the 2012 edition of the Bain&Company study for the Forum d'Avignon, we wanted to analyse seven years of digital revolution but at the same time to project into the future!
We tried to understand, through a vast consumer investigation, if the range of technologies supposed to revolutionize their usages had kept their promises and what were their reasons to hope.
A first conclusion is clear: we have not yet reached the “age of reason” of cultural industries. The rhythm of new launches and adoptions of innovations, far from slowing down, had a tendency to accelerate these past few years.
Whereas it took almost two years to Apple to sell 1 million of iPods, one month was enough to sell the same amount of iPads. Facebook has caught up with Google, growing from 60 millions of active users in 2008 to more than 950 millions today.
Moreover, our economic analysis suggests that the different cultural industries are submitted to cycles, during which exogenous shocks are followed by reinvention periods, sometimes painful, but often fecund of new models and jobs.
  • Could you, exclusively, give us some elements of the survey?
This year again, the Bain survey for the Forum d'Avignon of 6000 consumers on four continents contains surprises.
For example, the legal music diffusion sources (downloads, streaming, etc.) represent today more than a third of total consumption, even if they still have some trouble to be monetized.  
The investigations also shows that 50% of touch pads owners already have stopped to use TV to watch some contents, like news and fictions.
It also reveals that the democratization of smartphones and pads as a game terminal has been beneficial for the casual gaming, to which a large part of gamers already devote more than 50% of their playing time.
And eventually, whether it concerns music, audiovisual, games or books, the Bain study highlights the growing influence of social networks in the consumers’ choices.
  • Today's innovation look like they appear from everywhere, without order or direction lines. Are there any underlying trends that would enable to segment them?
The study indeed underlines how much these innovations are in reality the expression of some in-depth trends:
- Abundance, because access to unlimited content is now obvious for all the consumers worldwide;
- Personalization and segmentation of the tastes, that transcend society beyond cultural goods and services, is at its paroxysm;
- “Crossroads of usages” have emerged, Google and Facebook first;
- Social networks’ supremacy concerning the usages of online media;
-  Increasing involvement of the publics in the dialogue, the discovery and the dissemination of works.
Digital innovations, which have marked these last years and revolutionized our daily lives, are all in one way or another, the expression of one of these trends or of their combination.

  • What is your reason to hope?
As a matter of fact, we have identified many!
First, the analysis of consumers’ expectations reveals a never-ending thirst for culture and a wish for new experiences.
Then, our economic projections suggest that a return to pre-crisis levels is conceivable at a global level in 2012, in particular thanks to emerging markets.
Finally, our analyses predict the emergence of what we call the “middle-earth”: an intermediary space between mainstream and specialized content that could turn diversity into an essential driving force of creation in the cultural industries.