It is no secret that a large shift is happening in the media landscape. New and existing companies are making drastic changes to their strategy to cope with the spaghetti strings that is the internet. So what is happening, and who is causing it?
The answer to that question is simple: the children of the baby boom generation called the millenials. They have grown up with the internet and social media, they have known (almost) nothing else and have also seen the evolution of how to obtain information. Before the internet all information was written on paper and installable CD’s for old computers.
This meant, that at that time, you relied on all media companies to provide the information to you through magazines, television, radio and software (encyclopedias). And you had to wait for them to release that information.
But times have changed, everything has become on-demand. If you have a question: just Google it. If you want to know something about a historical event, go to Wikipedia. All the information you need is at your fingertips. And you don’t have to wait in line to buy a magazine or book with the answer. But luckily, you still have that option!
And that fact is causing major distress in the media landscape! Young people are no longer buying television subscriptions, but instead look to YouTube and Netflix (where it is available). Magazines and newspapers are also fading out and being replaced by online content like blogs and online-only news sites.
This change is causing major losses in media companies all around the world, and everyone knows this.
If I take myself as an example: I am one of the causes of these changes. I am now turning 27 and have maybe watched 6 hours of real-time television in the past 5 years. I do have a subscription to television… so that I can offer it to people if they visit. But that doesn’t happen often. I’m actually wondering now why I even keep the subscription in the first place….
I have also never bought a newspaper or a magazine, which is kind of strange since I have been working for a media company (Sanoma) for 80% of my career. I use Netflix for my television-shows, Google and News sites for my daily fact updates and other sites for information.
But that does not mean that the on-demand media is “ready” yet. Wikipedia for example is content written by people all around the world: professional and hobbyists. This means that the things that are written there have a chance that, when you read it, the content is not up to date or incorrect. And it will remain that way until someone knowledgeable about the subject comes along and fixes it.
Sure… books will also contain errors, but at least they are fact-checked more than something someone wrote online.
The on-demand video services like Netflix also do not have all the good old movies and shows available, but the content is growing larger and larger. And it will soon be big enough for most people to completely shut off real-time television. But if you like game and/or talk-shows, then you won’t find what you want in on-demand yet. But that is what media companies are moving to, and hopefully you will be able to request your favorite Conan episode whenever you want in the future.