In an article about ABC, John Hagel outlined the challenges facing media companies:
The most powerful brands in the media business will be held by successful intermediaries that help to consistently improve return on attention for audiences. In the process, the nature of the brand promise will change in a profound way. It will be a massive opportunity for media companies that understand the shift in economic and competitive dynamics and that focus on the rebundling plays required to build these brands.
Theres another way to frame the strategic opportunity/challenge for media businesses going forward. In addition to unbundling and rebundling of content, media companies face a choice: do they want to remain product businesses or do they want to become audience relationship businesses?
Of course, media companies have elements of both embedded in their companies today, but their hearts and minds are firmly in the product business. Heres the test: how open is the media company to providing access to third party content on behalf of their audiences? If the answer is not very open, the company is primarily a product business. If the answer is very open, then the company is primarily an audience relationship business.
The Wall Street Journal wrote recently about the convergence between the PC and TV as people spend more time in front of their computer:
Networks are making shows available online, whether on their own sites or through a service such as iTunes. Some are going even further, creating programs exclusively for the Web — a step that could eventually make the Internet a proving ground for television shows. Meanwhile, creative teams outside the television industry are producing their own online series — leading some experts to speculate that Internet companies like AOL could morph into de facto networks as well.
From a viewer’s perspective, all of this obviously means lots of new choices — more shows to watch and more say in when you watch them. But the Web also gives the public something more subtle: creative power. Not only can die-hards discuss their favorite shows on message boards, they can create high-tech tributes online, such as “best of” video montages.
[Advertisers] look forward to a time when they can use the Web’s data-gathering capabilities to get a breakdown of who’s watching a show and create ads targeted to each demographic segment.
Along with new viewing choices, the Web lets people get involved with their favorite shows in creative new ways. For years, enthusiasts have gathered online to discuss plot twists, share theories and script alternative endings. Now, thanks to evolving technology and widely available digital content, fans can take snippets of shows and repackage them, drawing thousands of eyeballs in the process.
Tomorrow: New Media (continued)
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