Parliament and the Internet: Jon Gisby, Yahoo!

In UK: 26 million people online 20 billion minutes a month >20% media consumption time But big disparity in behaviour: for one part of the day it’s the major source of news and entertainment. In some households, the internet is the dominant entertainment medium in the evening too. Total advertising market growth is 2.5%, but internet advertising growth is 65%. Ad revenue, internet is half the size of commercial TV in terms of size. For subscription revenue is about half what the UK is paying for pay TV. Numbers growing. Biggest number of people search. Biggest time spent is on shopping. Biggest amount of time per person is gaming. Communities and email are next biggest time spent. Big explosion is ‘user generated content’, the ability to participate, to share. Not about one-to-many, but about one-to-one and many-to-many. What does the UK long tail look like for brands? (Note: sites, not brands.) Top sites Long tail is enormous. Top sites are in the 20 million people, but the 5000th is 25,000 people (although margins of error quite large in long take stats). Lots of the top sites are media sites: BBC, Lloyds, Tesco, HSBC, Barclays, Miniclip, Blue Yonder, Guardian. Public sector don’t do too badly, MI5 is 602th, NHS is 44th, Dundee and Leeds must be doing something interesting because they are engaging 100,000s of people. Voluntary sector, millions of people a month going to those, although they start at Cancer Research 586th. Politics, pretty poor, House of Commons is 957th, next is TheyWorkForYou at 4177th, but the political parties are far further back, Labour at 5011th, Liberal Democrats at 5012th, Conservatives at 5207th. Ability to communicate with audiences is an opportunity. [I cut out the sales pitch regards Yahoo]] Moving from models where the power is in being the gatekeeper, to a model where there is limitless distribution and production in a global market. Scarcity of attention is the biggest problem they have. Lots of innovation and fluidity in business models. What’s next? Broadband growth, competition and investment in services, media literacy. Policy needs to be evidence based, not based on our own behaviour and extrapolated but actually look at what people are doing. Needs to be future-focused. Some markets are moving at an amazing speed, so have to think about where things might end up, but if you extrapolate too far you might stumble. Open competition whilst managing transitions – many sectors are going through a transitional period and how we manage and incentivise whilst protecting what’s public is a real challenge. Need the right policy mix, can give communities and individuals the tools to regulate themselves. Find the right balance between user empowerment and protection. If you try to control people, tell them too much what they can and can’t do you’ll get robust opinions, but need to balance this with a large part of the population who need protection. Tom Steinberg asked if it was within Yahoo!’s remit to build democratic tools such as those of MySociety, but Jon Gisby responds that they feel it more important to create all-purpose tools such as discussion groups that can be bent to the will of those interested in democracy.