Three Digital Trends That Are Helping to Reshape the Media Industry


In this article, I will be analysing the most important technological, ecosystem, and consumer trends that are currently driving innovation within today’s media industry.

1. Demographics

With the global middle class continuing to grow (from 18 billion individuals in 2009 to 4.0 billion estimated for 2030), there will be increased demand for new forms of media and internet connectivity services that offer premium, educational, and convenient content as well as video-on-demand, especially within emerging economies. In the meantime, as millennials have emerged (the generation that was born from 1981 through 1997), demand is being created for technology service that provides instant access to content, memorable experience, and convenience. The world’s population is also ageing at the same time, which has lead to increased demand for education, health, and wellness services that are designed for older individuals. Urbanization is also contributing to a higher demand for media offerings that have been designed for the busy lives and commutes of people.

2. New Consumer Expectations and Behaviours

These shifts in demographics are having a significant impact on what consumers are expecting from the media, the ways they consume it, as well as their savviness and familiarity with how they navigate the digital world today.

Changing Consumer Behaviours and Expectations

Younger generations are eager to consume content from all over the world. Their expectations revolve around instant gratification, especially being able to immediately access content. Also, as boundaries between different industries continue to blur, their customer service experience is not only between competitors within the same sector but against other industries and their best services.

Propaganda, Advertising, and Editorial Content

Consumers have become increasingly savvy at being able to spot PR spin or marketing that is disguised as editorial content. With more and more internet users turning to the use of ad-blocking software, marketers are having to change their tactics and look to engage consumers by providing them with useful information or through storytelling.

Great Experiences and Content Curation

Consumers appreciate it when someone curates for them. This is similar to what editors at paper magazines do. Native advertising platforms and clear mobile reading experiences are reaching savvy and new audiences by enhancing the user’s experience which allows publishers to charge advertisers a premium.

Trust, Privacy, and Security

Consumers are becoming more aware that their personal lives are being transformed into data that is monetized and analysed by third parties. Customization algorithms along with complex and opaque privacy policies may result in consumers switching to services that provide them with better data privacy and more transparency.

3. Ecosystem Challenges

Several significant changes have occurred within the media sector’s landscape as the media industry continues to adapt to its customer base’s changing habits.

Startup Disruptions

“Change the world” attitudes, access to technology, and talent allow startups to thrive all around the world. This is creating lean models and new businesses After these types of businesses reach scale, they invest in offering new services and increasing the quality of their content. This places competitive pressure on more traditional media companies. Everyone is a content creator these days. Diverse organizations and brands are now assuming the broadcaster role to gain consumer attention (for example, Intel and Unilever via their Vice Media partnerships).

Access to Necessary Financial Resources

Novel ways are being used by creative people to fund new services and products. Traditional media companies are being bypassed by content creators who are instead turning to crowdfunding platforms and other innovative financing sources.

Transformation of Work

It is very likely that digital transformation will significantly impact employment and create an increased demand for certain highly skilled digital positions, while at the same time other job categories will become redundant. As the workforce continues adapting to the digital economy, lifelong learning will be necessary to keep up with the constant changes in technology.

Regulatory Uncertainties

The legal frameworks that surround intellectual property are not prepared for new media consumer generations who expect to have access to content instantly from anywhere in the world. This is resulting in many consumers bypassing conventional access content methods (for example, access US Netflix in the US using VPN (Virtual Private Network) services.


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