Let’s start with a clear statement and followup up with some more detailed explanation.

There are 3 disruptions that are crucial for the future of media:

  1. The disruption of media consumption
  2. The disruption of media communication
  3. The disruption of media production

They are all interconnected and we will need to understand their impact on how we see things today and the major opportunities and challenges they bring to our current business.

The disruption of media consumption

The way people consume media has changed also in the last century dramatically but is now changing at a faster pace than ever. We need to understand and anticipate these trends and relate them to our current models.

In few years we have gone from a TV centric landscape to a multi-dimensional, multi-platform, multi-channel and much more fragmented scenario in which users (viewers) have an incredible array of possibilities to discover and consume content.

The main driver has been the advent of mobile devices in the form of smartphones, tablets, phablets, wearables etc… as well as the fragmentation of media outlets, more than the standard broadcasters and news properties we were used to.

Please read my article on “The Anthropology of Devices”

Users are now more and more contextually engaged

Before:

After:

The disruption of media communication

In the past broadcasters and media outlets controlled the communication towards audiences, they were an intermediate layers between real life sources of content and viewers/users.

With the advent of social media and social platforms we have seen two crucial trends:

  1. Starting with things like the readwrite web, we have moved from communication to conversation. it’s not anymore about media going to a passive audience, the audience is now active and often goes beyond media
  2. As consequence we have witnessed what I call “The disintermediation of the conversation”, not only media outlets are communicating but many actors and the audience itself act in a conversation space

In sports it means we now have Federations, Teams, Clubs, Athletes directly having conversation and interactions with fans, and by the way because of disruption no. 1 this happens on multiple channels and platforms.

Please read my article about: “Everybody wants to become a broadcaster”

All actors are becoming media outlets, they all want to own the conversation with the audience and monetize it.

Before:

After:

What can they do:

The disruption of media production

Media production has in the past being focused on producing content for print and for TV.

Even with the advent of the internet and digital video platforms, most of the content production models have been still designed around old paradigms.

The same two forces (mobile and social) in addition to the evolution of digital technologies are also impacting how content is going to be produced in the future.

Why if the consumption is now different with multiple channels available, and the conversation is now different with multiple actors driving it, content for a major sport event (as an example) is still produced only for TV (1 channel, video only etc…) and then somehow repurposed for all other platforms?

Mobile devices, social platforms and new technologies open a wealth of new opportunities to create content in real time, from different angles, involving directly the actors of the action.

Please read my article about “Digital Native Content Creation”

Conclusion

It looks like one disruption impacts the other and so on… so we will need to figure what this means for our specific business.

  1. The disruption of media consumption — mobile and multi-platform
  • This means: more ways to consume content
  1. The disruption of media communication — social and the disintemediation of the conversation
  • This means: more sources of content
  1. The disruption of media production — digital native content production
  • This means: more and more variety of content

In my humble opinion this sends a clear message to the business:

“Beware of the status quo. Even if you think your business is very solid and protected by high entry barriers look at the Music business lesson and think ahead. Don’t let other disrupt your business, do it yourself. The long term competitive advantage is under attack, look for the next transient competitive advantage.”