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Play: Beyond Media

Is it all too much?

Today’s consumers are more informed, more connected and more demanding than ever. As a consequence, we find ourselves in an entirely new business environment – one in which your customers’ experiences are cast and recast by businesses beyond your category.

Their familiarity with other industries’ tech-driven advances in customization and user-friendliness are making a huge impact in media, as in many others.

Indeed, the media sector is one of the most fluid – so many brands have a presence in what could loosely be called media, and so many business models involve some element of media, that the category stretches from social networks to search, technology to sport, many kinds of commerce to communications infrastructure… it’s almost easier to pick out the very few brands that have nothing to do with media.

For instance, the biggest names of all – our top three brands, Apple, Google and Amazon at #1, #2 and #3 – all have a strong media component to their businesses, though they’re nominally technology companies. Facebook, likewise, at #14, is a tech brand. However, if TV channels which showed programs made by outside production companies were media brands, and newspapers with readers’ letters pages were media brands, it could be possible to argue that point.

Nonetheless, the core brands which fall squarely into the media category, are realizing some innovative and divergent new business models. Disney (#10) is one of the world’s most recognizable brands and one with a strong retail component. Netflix, at #65, has revolutionized the video consumption model but is itself at risk of being disrupted (or acquired) by deeper-pocketed tech corporations. Discovery, at #91, is the only ‘traditional’ TV network left on the grid.

One thing there is no shortage of in this sector is content; streaming services offer millions of hours of films, TV box sets, classic serials and original commissioned material. In fact, that is the big opportunity, and challenge, of today’s media landscape. It’s all very well offering an almost limitless amount of choice, but how do you point consumers to things that they actually want rather than leaving them deep in a frustrating cascade of irrelevant content?

Anybody who can solve that problem will be able to build a huge advantage. Watch this space…

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