Why 2017 Is The Year Of ‘New Media’

We all know the word “media”. We see it so much and use it so broadly, but it’s evolving. The media is now becoming more of a concept, than a concrete and easily definable thing. It’s not black and white. While it can broadly be defined as the main means of mass communication, all the sections that fall under it like broadcasting, publishing, and the Internet are notable in their own rights.

In 2017, we have so many different mediums and the traditional types such as TV and print are increasingly becoming afterthoughts. Audiences are now using a whole host of devices to consume media and what used to be primary media outlets are now secondary, if that. Second screens accompany TV viewers and are an outlet for their thoughts and reactions and a distraction through the ad breaks. In the good old days, we used to just flip channels.

Enter ‘New Media’. It’s a phenomenon that has influenced the lives of the new generation, aka the millennials. Everything is digital. Everything is fast. Everything is on-demand. No flipping channels, no waiting for the newspaper through the letterbox — I mean, who even has time to read full articles, and turn pages anymore?

Here are eight reasons why this is the year of ‘’New Media’’

  1. Change At The Top Of The Advertising Tree

As some of the aforementioned businesses prove, all it takes is one out of the box idea to create a huge shift in how things are done. There is a clear hegemony in leadership of the biggest media companies like Publicis, Omnicom and WPP. As these companies adapt to the ‘New Media’ requirements, this dominance by a specific group of people will also start to change. The younger and newer leaders will invest in different assets. Rather than just marketing services, they may explore publishers and social media and publishers go hand in hand. Maurice Levy just announced yesterday that he is stepping down as Chief Executive of Publicis. This is the start.

2. Social Networks Are Getting Into Bed With Publishers

Apps such as Snapchat and Instagram have also fine tuned “near live” content with snaps and stories that disappear after 24 hours. Everything you watch and see has just happened. This also shows that ‘New Media’ platforms have to constantly up their games in a very competitive market. Even the biggest social platforms have to adapt to stay relevant or else they risk losing the attention of loyal users. *Cough* Twitter *Cough*. On top of that, we can now communicate through live feeds — this isn’t just for the top businesses, politicians or superstars — anyone with a smartphone can become a broadcaster. Facebook started the trend and Instagram has started rolling it out to users

Snapchats discover section and Instagram users have the option to swipe up to see more, where they are re-directed to external sites. Again, for publishers, these extra tools can have a huge impact on their content reach if used correctly.

3. Facebook’s Partner Content Is The Benchmark On How It Will Be Monetized

Facebook is one of the biggest media publishers, but doesn’t own any media. It’s branded content approach shows just how far the network has come and how mature it is now and solidifies its place as a thought leader in the field. The platform not allows users to tag the brands their content mentions, thereby giving access to insights to all parties. This information is invaluable when creating content and allocating paid media budgets. All content on Facebook is kept within content, one of the smartest moves by a social network that we have ever seen.

4. Professionalization Of Influencers

Influencers are undoubtedly part of 2017’s ‘New Media’ structure. They’re essentially social media celebs who work on their own personal brands. They’re not necessarily selling anything, but they can build huge followings based on their lifestyles and interests (It’s basically the ultimate dream job). Brands can then get access to their audiences (for the right price, of course) and target followers, hence the apt influencer title.

5. Snap IPO

This will be the biggest social media IPO of the year. It will Not since Twitter and Facebook IPO’s have we had as important benchmark, not least because of the secrecy that surrounds much of Snap’s data.

6. Publishers And Agencies Are Merging

A hybrid of publishing and agency is the latest trend. This is what Augustus is. An always on approach that is fit for purpose. Social networks don’t close, neither do consumers switch off. Brands need communication that is always on, much like the publishing business has been for years. Vayner Media recently bought women’s publisher PureWow showing the start of the trend of agencies creating their own editorial structures. The Wall Street Journal commented on the purchase:

“The move comes as publishers — including the Time Inc., the Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal — invest more resources into their “branded content” businesses, expanding into tasks traditionally performed by agencies, like research or creating ads that appear across the web. PureWow generates the lion’s share of its revenue from branded content and has produced work for marketers like Cover Girl, Olay and Cartier.”

The question now is not if agencies will start to follow Vayner’s example, but when and who they will pursue — Buzzfeed, Vice and LadBible are prime for the taking. Could we see an offer from Ogilvy?

Agencies would do well to take note. ‘New Media’ has taken over and the only way to survive is to change the old ways and start investing in new platforms much like publishers. As the ‘New Media’ landscape evolves, there will be no space for stagnant thinking, only for pioneers and those who can adapt along with it.

7. Steaming Services

There is a phenomena of de-cording, where the data and TV bundle subscriptions are being disconnected in favor of steaming subscriptions. Streaming and subscription are also moving from strength to strength with services like Netflix, Spotify and Amazon Prime catering to viewers every whim. They’ve replaced TV and users can use them whenever and wherever. The lack of limits has enabled them to disrupt traditional meda. Of course, you can’t ignore the influence of a deal such as AT&T buying Time Warner, and each region has an equivalent of this, however consumer choice is winning the ‘New Media’ battle so far.

8. Key Players & Pioneers

Everyone in media has a role in this. From publishers, production, creatives, agencies, media owners, tech start ups. There are some pioneers like, Axios, is a pioneer in this field. Created by a group of journalists and with the aim of breaking the existing media structure, it lists the following points in its manifesto. They say that ‘media is broken’, and use this analogy. ‘Can you imagine Ford being obsessed mainly with whether the engineers love the howl and design of the F-150 engine, instead of simply delivering an awesome truck people want to drive? Never. But that’s what digital media companies too often do. They produce journalism the way journalists want to produce it. And they design their products to maximize short-term buzz or revenue — not deliver the best experience possible.’

To conclude, this dependency on ‘New Media’, as with everything, has it’s pros and cons. It’s just another facet of globalisation; we’re living in an increasingly connected world — and while we can speak to our loved ones wherever we are, for free, we often spend the time in their company on our phones. Ironic.

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