A recently released Nielsen survey points to the notion that owning a tablet like an iPad leads to diminishing use of other devices. This includes desktops, laptops, eReaders, and game consoles.
(Prediction: As the iPad 2 proliferates, digital camera use will drop, too.)
We have seen this same phenomenon in different settings over the past year or so. In “Goin’ Mobile,” many of our 18 respondents pointed out their use of other gadgetry had dropped due to reliance on their smartphones.
And in the new Techsurvey 7, which will be released later this week, we had respondents list devices they are using less frequently as a result of owning a smartphone. Digital cameras and camcorders topped our list, while computers were also mentioned.
This doesn’t mean that Nikon or Canon is going to go away, but you can imagine a scenario where the people who buy high-end cameras will narrow down to the pros and photo aficionados. For the rest of us, the best camera is the one we’re carrying – in our smartphones and tablets.
This strongly suggests that consumers are becoming more and more dependent on devices that do multiple things. Kurt Hanson frequently shows a slide of Mr. Spock and the tricorder as evidence that Gene Roddenberry was even more prescient than we thought when he created the Star Trek series. The tricorder was the device that did it all – close in size, look, and feel to today’s tablets.
And this goes a long way toward explaining why the Flip video camera is kaput. Perhaps eReaders are, in fact, an endangered species, thanks in large part to the iPad. And rumors of Amazon creating a Kindle tablet later this year make sense, given this growing trend against gadgets that do just one thing.
And that leads me to think there might be a parallel here for America's workforce, specifically in radio, where the employee base has shrunk in recent years. We continue to preach the importance of air talent acquiring multiple skills to make a greater contribution to radio clusters – music scheduling, production, voicetracking, social media and web support, and of course, great sales relations and strong appearances.
The old “four and out the door” philosophy is as dated as cart machines and splicing blocks. Today’s measure of success for personalities is about providing multiple services and skills. At budget time, the jock who brings multiple skills (think "functions" or "apps") to the table has a better chance of increasing her longevity and creating more value.
In today’s world, no one loves a one trick pony.