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U.S. Digital Ecosystem 2012 - the Future in Focus

comScore released their "2012 U.S. Digital Future in Focus" report. This annual report examines how the prevailing trends are defining the current marketplace and what these trends mean for the year ahead.

"2012 promises to be an exciting year for the digital media industry as the explosion of available content and proliferation of web-enabled devices drive the evolution of the digital consumer, creating new opportunities and challenges for the entire digital ecosystem," said Linda Abraham, comScore CMO and EVP of Global Product Development.

In order to be successful in this new paradigm, digital marketers must understand the key trends shaping the current marketplace and what that means for the future of their businesses.

Key insights from the comScore report include:

A Networking-Led Social Media Market

Social Networking accounted for 16.6 percent of all online minutes at the end of 2011 and is on track to surpass Portals as the most engaging online activity in 2012. Facebook continues to lead as the driving force behind this shift in consumer behavior, accounting for the largest share of online minutes across the entire web in 2011.

Small Market Share Shifts in Search

Although Google maintains a strong lead in the U.S. search market, one of the most notable stories in search in 2011 was Bing’s positive growth trajectory. Bing closed out the year by surpassing Yahoo! for the number two position among core search engines for the first time in its history, bolstered in part by its social search partnership with Facebook implemented in early 2011.

An Unstoppable Online Video Boom

Online video viewing witnessed impressive gains across a variety of measures in 2011, signaling a behavioral shift in how Americans are consuming video content. More than 100 million Americans watched online video content on an average day to close out 2011, representing a 43-percent increase versus year ago.

Digital Advertising Era Continues Online

A staggering 4.8 trillion display ad impressions were delivered across the U.S. web in 2011 as brand advertisers continued to shift dollars to the digital medium. This shift in ad dollars has magnified the need for greater transparency and accountability in ad delivery across the digital advertising ecosystem.

Smartphone and Tablets Fuel the Digital Omnivore

The rise of smartphones and tablets has drastically altered consumers’ digital media consumption. In 2011, the majority of all mobile phone owners consumed mobile media on their device, marking an important milestone in the evolution of mobile from primarily a communication device to also a content consumption tool. At the end of the year, more than 8 percent of all digital traffic was consumed beyond the classic web via devices such as smartphones and tablets.

E-Commerce is Back and Better Than Ever

Despite the backdrop of continued economic uncertainty, 2011 was a strong year for retail e-commerce. Throughout the year, growth rates versus the prior year remained in double-digits to significantly outpace growth at brick-and-mortar retail. Total U.S. retail and travel-related e-commerce reached $256 billion in 2011, up 12 percent from 2010.

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