It is a good exercise for any prudent business leader to look regularly at the larger trends and developments that shape one’s industry.
I have collected a few topics that will influence the Media industry at large this year and the Television industry in specific.
We witnessed media disruption in 2016 from an unexpected angle: when a prominent figure basically establishes it’s very own media outlet or communication channel, most of the (news) media reacts with standard methods and is more or less left flabbergasted at the side line. This will become even more an issue; an issue of our stand towards democratic processes, freedom and how society shall move forward, once this prominent figure is being voted in a very, very prominent and powerful office. There is quite a bit of twists and turns to watch for in 2017 – and some of it will be scary; scary for us as individuals, but also for us as business leaders in the TV and media industry.
Here are my key trends to watch for in 2017:
1) SENSATIONALISM WILL HIT JARRING, ALARMING HEIGHTS – AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO FALL FOR IT.
Sensationalism has become the lifeblood of many media outlets. It is not only tabloids anymore who go for the next big surprise announcement or sensational news. Sensationalism has become part of mainstream media. It seems almost as an intrinsic trade of media to need sensations to survive.
2) MEDIA IN CRISIS
This is a result of the first trend but has been cooking up since some years; and was most evident in 2016. Media has to reassert its role. There is quite a bit of soul-searching and self-reflection required for that.
3) SHOW ME THE MONEY
One of the learnings from 2016 is that big TV ad campaigns might be nice to watch but will often not lead to the desired results. They can easily be outpaced by successful viral marketing. Hence, advertisers will move their spending away from traditional TV and will experiment more with social media and alternative ways of dispersing their message.
4) SPORTS SETS NEW RECORDS AND WILL FACE HURDLES
Talking about money: sports will rake in even higher income than ever before. Sports creates sensationalism on demand. Hence, it is the ideal content for media – and so sought after. Sports rights holders are the new Emperors and their rule is harsh, demanding and ruthless.
5) THE TV WORLD IS CHANGING…AGAIN – THE NEW OLD PLAYERS
In 2017 media companies like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon etc, will even more set foot into Television broadcasting. In combination with everyone being a media outlet nowadays and hence access to an endless pool of content plus acquiring sports rights and other content, they will become major broadcasters.
6) GOOD TV PRODUCTION IS THE DOPE OF THE INDUSTRY
As ever more media outlets and broadcasters fight for eyeballs, good content becomes the key element to attract such. Any company that takes TV serious will invest in its own production. It started with Netflix and Amazon, but will trickle down to even the smallest player.
7) THE MEGA CURATOR – ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IS MAKING ITS ENTRY
With all the content that is now available on all kinds of broadcast and streaming outlets, the need for some order in all of this jungle has never been higher. Artificial intelligence is the key word.
8) NOTHING NEW: FRAGMENTATION EVERYWHERE
With the availability of abundant content resources and the advent of affordable technology it is easier now than ever to launch new platforms. Every telecommunication company, every ever so small media company and even some non-traditional media players will look into launching their very own broadcast platform. OTT TV is the new fashion .
9) FOCUS IS THE KEY – FRAGMENTATION II
There is fragmentation in terms of more and more platforms and more and more (geographical) markets. In addition, there is fragmentation in regard to consumer segments. We will see an increase in niche broadcast services.
10) DIVERSITY AS AN OPPORTUNITY
An area of growth that some players now discover is diversity: mainstream content and its consumers are being served in almost any market. But what about the more diverse communities and audience needs? We have already seen some players addressing ethnic communities as a growth area.
I am very aware that my list of trends is not at all doing justice to the many challenges that media companies and its leaders have to face. It is a very subjective selection. And, yes, here comes the sales pitch: while some of these trends sound scary or too big to fathom, I also know that media has one big trait going for itself: the willingness to learn and reinvent. That is where we can help with our knowledge, insight and expertise.