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I’ve had this conversation a few times recently and just realised I hadn’t written about it here.
It comes from putting all of these things together:
Democratisation of media – “anyone” (ok, not anyone, but a lot more people than before) have access to technology that allows them to produce written, audio and video content of a very high quality and distribute their offerings to a global audience. One of the key effects of this is that the distinction between producer and consumer gets blurred – more and more people are both.
Content is worth more if you can get it free than if you have to pay for it – people increasingly expect to get stuff on the net for free and in fact they value the product more if they’ve been able to get a free sample (or even the whole thing) online. Music and movie producers shouldn’t worry about file-sharing and copying for this reason. However, it does raise the question “What can you sell people through the web?”
Advertising is dying. It may be a slow death or a quick one, but the trend is downwards and terminal. People don’t want to be interrupted by commercial messages anymore. Yes we need commercial information, but we want it available when we go looking, not jumping out at us wherever we go. Please don’t try to grab me by the eyeballs. Trouble is, advertising is *the* business model in media – who knows how else to make money out of it?
When you put all of those things together, the future starts to look gloomy for media execs especially in TV. How on earth are we going to continue to make programmes and make money? I don’t know the answer, but I’m enjoying talking about it to help get to an answer. Whatever, I’m sure that it involves people in TV talking to people (currently) outside TV to see what things haven’t worked in the past and it also involves talking to your audiences as if they have something you want, rather than the other way round.