This part will open the Digital part of the Divide, starting with the classic telephone
. The first telephone was installed 135 years ago in 1876. The world has passed one billion phones in use and today while the numbers are in gradual decline, we are at about 1.1 Billion total landline phones, or one for every six people alive (16% penetration rate per capita, worldwide).
How are the phones divided today? In the Industrialized World we are at the point where traditional telephone lines are actually shrinking in size. Roughly 305 million households or 64% of all homes have a landline phone today. Of those homes, the physical telephone line density is greater than the number of accounts, so of the homes that have a phone, about 30% will have two phone lines giving us a total count of about 395 million fixed landline phone subscriptions in the Industrialized World. These phones will give a reach of 64% of the population in the affluent part of the globe.
Then lets switch to the Emerging World
where there are 690 million households with a landline phone, or about 51% of the homes. Only 4% of homes with a phone will have two landline phones. The overall reach of the landline telephone system will get to 51% of the population in the less-affluent parts of the globe.RADIOS
If we go chronologically in the order of the technology, the next technology to cover is Radio
. Marconi first sent a radio transmission over the ocean in 1901 and soon after that, broadcast radio would start to appear. Today there are about 4.1 Billion radio receivers (mostly FM radio
) in use worldwide. That would be a very impressive 60% of the planet. Except that they are not evenly dispersed.
In the Industrialized World we have far more than half of all radio receivers, with a total of 2.6 Billion radios for 1.2 Billion people - 2.2 radio receivers per capita in fact. In the Emerging World the total is only 1.5 Billion radio receivers or a density of 30% per capita. Or each radio would need to be shared by 3.9 people on average.
We also calculated the age pyramid the potential listening audience. If we want to calculate the reach including babies and infants, in the Industrialized World radio reaches the full 1.2 Billion people. I estimate the actual maximum listening audience size at 1.06 Billion people, which is still 88% of the total population.
In the Emerging World the reach of radios would be 4.2 Billion people when we measure the total number of radios in households and the total number of people living in those homes, but again counting out the very young - remembering the growth of the planet is mostly in the Emerging World like in Africa and India etc - the actual listening audience maximum size is 3.2 Billion people for radio. When we add them together, the global audience maximum size for radio is 4.3 Billion radio listeners or 61% of the planet.TELEVISION
TV was trialed before the Second World War
but didn't launch in meaningful numbers until after the war. Today the planet has about 1.7 Billion TV sets, which would be 24% per-capita penetration rate if evenly dispersed.
Again the spread of TV sets is far more in the affluent Industrialized World countries, where we have 660 million TV sets in about 470 million households - where 98% of our households have at least one TV set, and 40% of our homes has two TVs.
In the Emerging World the TV set is spreading rapidly and of the households that have electricity, already 95% have a TV set. The number of TV households is 920 million or 68% of homes in that part of the world do have at least one TV set. 13% of the homes have two TV sets.
When we calculate the maximum addressable audience, out of the total 5.1 Billion people who live in homes with a TV set, the actual addressable audience is 4.2 Billion, which is divided so, that in the Industrialized World 1.05 Billion people - 88% of the total population can be reached by TV (and the remaining part is obviously not a viable part of the economy - mostly being too young or in some cases too old, infirm, sick etc). In the Emerging World television actual maximum addressable audience is 3.2 Billion people in size or 55% of that population. Globally, 61% of the planet's population can theoretically be reached if you use TV as your mass medium.
There are some other interesting metrics too relating to TV. There are about 930 million pay-TV, cable-TV, digital-TV and satellite-TV accounts i.e. multi-channel systems beyond broadcast TV. In the Industrialized World these cable-TV type of households account for 67% of all homes and reach an audience of about 700 million. In the Emerging World there are about 610 households with cable-TV type of accounts which are 59% of all homes with a TV or 45% of all homes.
When looking at the audience of cable, the total cable-TV type of service reach as an audience of those 930 million accounts globally is about 2.7 Billion people, or about 64% of all who watch TV, have access (to at least one box per home) to multi-channel TV services. The split is 700 million people in the Industrialized World (59% of the total population) and 2 Billion in the Emerging World (35% of the total population).
We also have numbers on DVD players and gaming consoles. My consultancy calculates that 89% of households in the Industrialized World have a DVD player today, and 43% have a gaming console. In the Emerging World the rates are 61% for a DVD player and 18% for gaming console. If we calculate the penetration rates by homes that have at least one TV set, it gets more interesting - 90% of homes in the wealthy parts of the world and 90% of homes in the less-affluent world - that have a TV set, also have a DVD player. But where it comes to gaming consoles, of the TV households in the Industrialized World, 44% have a gaming console, but in the Emerging World only 27% of the homes with a TV set, will also have a gaming console. The overall figure for game consoles stands at about 695-700 million, with 199.79 million contemporary, 7th generation consoles
(PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii).
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