Sunday, 21 January 2007

Interesting thoughts from a recent presentation – the changing media landscape

A media organisation has traditionally been a combination of 3 things:

Brand, Talent and Distribution

This can be seen with traditional channels and also with new areas - podcasting is a good example of how these 3 things can work together. A branded podcast (eg Ricky Gervais podcasts) used ‘talent’ to get the Guardian brand ‘distributed’ outside of it’s normal circle of influence. This leads onto the idea that “every piece of content can be a piece of brand communication.” However content must be high quality and easy to find.

Consumers now want:

To create and communicate – ideally at the same time
To control their media – what they want, when they want it
To challenge the established order – ‘it’s time for a change’ etc

and consumers will follow this whether media organisations want it or not.

Web 2.0 has led to the breaking down of barriers to production and distribution and this has led to changes in consumer wants and needs. These changes can be seen in many different areas, from the relentless growth of UGC and social networking sites like MySpace, Facebook etc through to the obsession with ‘the right to reply’ (Citizen Journalism, MySun, UG travel guides etc)

Media organisation of the future would appear to be different to the traditional model:

Brand, Talent and COMMUNITY

2 way communication or ‘Community’ has replaced ‘Distribution.’ Production and distribution are no longer the sole preserve of giant media organisations. Anyone can publish now and the development of video content emphasises this even more – however there is still a feeling that:

1% of people are creators, 9% are ‘joiners-in’ and 90% are spectators.

The changes can be summarised in the following way:

Audience to Community / Interactivity
Text & Pictures to All media
Editorial package to Scattered bits
Newstand to RSS / Google News /
Once a day to Continuous
Temporary to Permanent
National to International
Cover price to Free for all
Creator and editor to Host and facilitator
Technology as a service to Software as a core creative skill

Aggregators take on a new role and become the equivalent of a ‘channel’ or a broadcaster. This is especially obvious with video on demand where video from different sources is aggregated under one brand. Yahoo Video / Revver / Veoh are all good examples.

Essentially infinite choice = overwhelming confusion = filters needed = a key role for aggregators.

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