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In this article, we will be looking at the key technological, ecosystem and consumer trends that are influencing digital innovation in the media industry today.
As the world’s global middle class continues to grow (from 1.8 billion in 2009 to approximately 4.9 billion by 2030), demand for newer media services concentrating on education, convenience, video-on-demand and premium content will also grow, especially in developing economies. In the meantime, the rise of millennials (people born between 1981 and 1997) has created a massive demand for technology services providing memorable experiences, convenience and immediate access to content. Nevertheless, the global populous is aging, resulting in increased demand for health and wellness, education and entertainment services specially made for older folk. Lastly, urbanisation will play a role in the increased demand for media offerings as people’s busy schedules and commutes will have to be accounted for.
2. New Consumer Expectations and Behaviours
These demographic changes are having a drastic effect on what consumers want from media, the medium they consume it through and on their acumen and familiarity in traversing the digital landscape.
Changing consumer behaviours and expectations. Younger generations consume content from all over the world. Their expectations are built around instant satisfaction, particularly the ability to access information right away or streamline their experiences through mobile device management solutions. Furthermore, as the line between industries blur, consumers these days don’t judge their service experience against competitors in the same industry, but against the best services offered from other sectors.
Propaganda, advertising and editorial content. Consumers have become increasingly adept at identifying PR spin or marketing masquerading as editorial content. With a large number of Internet users turning to ad-blocking software, advertisers are changing strategies and looking to involve consumers via storytelling and delivering relevant information (brand utility).
Delightful experiences and content curation. Consumers value having somebody to curate content on their behalf, akin to what an editor would do with a conventional magazine. Native marketing platforms and clean mobile reading experiences are getting savvy and new audiences, improving user experience and enabling publishers to charge marketers a premium.
Trust, privacy and security. Consumers have become increasingly aware of how their daily lives are being converted into data that is analysed and monetised by third parties. Complicated and opaque privacy policies and bespoke algorithms may necessitate consumers to change to services that provide them with better data privacy and transparency.
3. Ecosystem challenges
As the media sector acclimatises to the ever-evolving habits of its client base, we have witnessed a variety of changes to the media landscape.
Startup disruptions. A ‘change the world’ attitude, technology accessibility and talent are enabling startups to blossom all around the world, creating lean models and new businesses. When this breed of the company scales, it capitalises on providing new services and increasing the quality of its content, applying competitive pressure on conventional media companies. These days, everyone is a content creator. A wide range of organisations and brands today assume the part of broadcasters as they compete for client attention (for example, Intel and Unilever through their collaboration with Vice Media).
Access to financial resources. Creative individuals are finding new methods to finance new products and services. Content creators are circumventing conventional media companies and turning their focus on innovative sources of funding like crowdfunding platforms. The revolution of the workplace. Digital transformation is sure to have a massive impact on employment, create demand for highly skilled digital tasks while making some jobs redundant. As the global workforce acclimatises to the digital economy, there will be a need for lifelong learning to keep up with the ever-changing technological world.
Regulatory uncertainty. Legal structures around intellectual property aren’t equipped to deal with a new generation of media consumers expecting immediate access to content from anywhere. Consequently, a lot of consumers are opting to circumvent traditional methods of accessing content (for instance, using VPN services to access US Netflix while in the UK).