Is globalization good for companies and content creators? On the one hand, it is, because everyone is free to create the content he or she wants or needs. On the other hand, just imagine the number of competitors who are doing the same. And there are consumers whose available time is remaining static while the amount of content and ways to transmit that content are exploding. What should companies and content creators do? Read one proposed solution in the following interview with Micah Green.
Acceleration of Change
– Could you please talk about changes in the media and entertainment space?
– The reality is that change is accelerating in every part of life, driven by technology, and that has a profound effect on media and entertainment companies, and space. One way to think about the changes that are taking place could be analogized to the weather. So, if you think about weather from the standpoint of “is it going to rain tomorrow? that may determine whether you bring an umbrella or a raincoat. On the other hand, there is a dimension of weather that unfolds in a completely different time scale, almostgeologic time: the erosion that forms the Grand Canyon, the tectonic plate shift that forms continents. And those things change the landscape or the environment in a fundamentally different way from whether it’s wet or whether it’s dry tomorrow, but when you analogize that to the media landscape and come back to the acceleration of change, those time horizons are radically compressed.
– And who is “making the weather” now?
– YouTube was founded in 1998. Facebook was founded in 2004. And those two companies, which didn’t exist 25 years ago, now really dominate the areas of the media space in which they play. And there’s no reason to expect that the future is going to be different from the past in that respect. Meaning that it is quite likely that the companies that come to dominate particular areas of the space, that today we consider incumbent players unlikely to be dislodged or disrupted, could be entirely different or may not even exist.
Globalization and Consumer Expectations
– What trends are affecting the media and entertainment space?
– Among the trends that are shaping media and entertainment, one of the most important is globalization. Globalization, on the one hand, represents a fact that for companies worldwide, the opportunities now exist to reach audiences worldwide. And that is powerfully transformative in terms of the market and market size that’s available to them. It raises new questions and challenges, some of which are regulatory, some of which relate to the fact that while people universally have certain common standards of what is good or great, or engaging content, there are also points that need to be taken into account with respect to cultural considerations. Because things that might work in but one environment really well, might not work in another market at all.
– Is there anything else?
– Other areas include the following: one is consumer expectations. Consumer expectations are in part shaped by high-quality content that is available, and people want to have a choice, convenience, and value. Consumers have available to them at any given moment in time, and through a broad variety of different types of devices, a practically infinite number of choices about the content with which they could choose to engage.
On the one hand, that is enormously exciting if you are a content creator because you can reach a global audience on multiple platforms in ways that on the cost side are much more achievable than they ever were. And on the other hand, if you’re a content creator that’s enormously scary because what you are producing and providing now is a drop in the ocean, and you’re competing against an almost infinite set of competitors. And while the amount of content is growing exponentially, obviously the amount of time in a day for any one person isn’t changing at all. And how they choose to spend the hours they have available for entertainment is increasingly atomized and fractionated and creates opportunities and creates challenges.
Reimaging Business Models
– So what should companies and content creators do?
– The changes that are taking place across the media and entertainment space require a certain nimbleness on the part of media and entertainment companies. And business models have to be thoughtfully re-examined so that the models provided for consumers are ones that in part meet them where they are. In part they are mindful of what consumers are going to want – not in the next calendar quarter or in two calendar quarters, but in a year and two years and three years or longer. And those things in turn are informed by all of the other converging forces of change, the acceleration of the change in technology, the globalization. The markets that are available, the atomization that is taking place with respect to where consumers spend their time, how they spend their time and the choices that they have. All of those things create a need for media and entertainment companies to remain thoughtful and nimble about the business models that they employ to create successful long-term relationships with the consumers that they want as their audiences.