The FINANCIAL -- The FINANCIAL asked Eugene Jokhidze, Editor-in-Chief of the leading online magazine Metronome evaluate the media environment in Georgia.
Metronome launched five years ago, is now in the top 10 news agencies in Georgia.
What is the impact of online media on Georgian society?
It has a great influence on society and it will increase in the future. People are consuming news mainly from their mobile phones while traveling or walking on the streets.
This is a very useful way to stay informed and spend less time watching long programs in front of traditional TV. News online is distributed and delivered to users more quickly and effectively. Trust towards online media is increasing and users are growing daily.
But there are challenges related to fake news.
Will it hamper the development of online media?
We have a very tight market in online media. Of course, there are a lot of websites trying to improve their rating based on fake news distribution, but it can’t last forever. Readers are reacting accordingly to such news sources - blocking or reporting them in social media.
The majority of such websites are associated with or sponsored by Russian intelligence services. Local and international fact-checkers, including our agency, are focused on revealing misconduct of such media.
What about the advertising market? How they manage to survive in an environment where TV-s associated with the government or political groups occupy 90% of the ad budget.
Yes, this is an important issue. There are old stereotypes about the effectiveness of TV. But the reality is different. Until recent years, these traditional marketing methods were a staple of many marketers’ promotional endeavors; however, with the rise of online media and a shift in consumer trends, legacy media lost a lot of its appeal.
Nowadays, the internet allows easy access to an almost infinite amount of information at any time and any place. That has drastically changed the average consumer’s way of life.
Everything is faster and much more accessible now, so a lot of the marketing focus has shifted from seeking out customers to helping them find you. Between 2000 and 2020, the percentage of ad expenses in the U.S. has risen by 40% for online advertising, while some traditional methods like television and newspaper ad spendings have dropped by 3% and 26% respectively.
In 2000, it is estimated that only 7% of the world’s population used the internet. However, by 2018, that number rose to a whopping 48%!