The future of media is a popular topic but the answer seems to depend on the axe being ground. Seven heavyweights were assembled by Media Post Publications for a recent panel discussion on the topic. They represented: Facebook, Gaming, Huffington Post (Arianna herself) the Weather Channel, a major media company, an ad agency and the marketing chief for Subway. An audit of their talks is available at Media Shows, Hashtag #MPFuture. Some of the major trends identified by the panel were:
- Convergence – utilizing all available mediums to communicate a message with seamless digital transfer from one medium to another.
- Empowerment – authenticity and transparency in the delivery of messages and information.
- Platforms – more means for audience members to respond and express themselves.
- Integration –advertising not an “uninvited guest” but part of and not interrupting the content (see reference to Media Post Daily editor Joe Mandese’s piece on “Advertising Jumps The Shark” in this issue’s Road Signs.)
- Stress Release – Arianna’s belief in a counter trend to our growing addiction to technology. A “technology disconnect” she says her eponymous publications try to serve.
- “Do Good” Initiatives – Catering to a perceived increasing desire of individuals to “do good.” (e.g. “Cause Marketing.”)
- Gaming – Not gambling per se but engaging in an online activity that offers some sort of reward for active participation.
Still another prediction for media‘s future comes from the Museum For Media History. Notable in this crystal ball: Google and Amazon merge to put newspapers and news services as we know them out of business in 2014 with the introduction of EPIC (Evolving Personalized Information Project). Supposedly, EPIC is broader, deeper and wider than any news service before it. Unfortunately, the monologue notes, EPIC is filled with useless trivia with no concern for democracy or media ethics. See: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1vNCP4
Perhaps the most likely but hardly prescriptive recent prediction for the future of media is the generalization offered by the CEO of Publicis Group when, according to Media Daily News’ Steve McClellan, he told an audience of investors, the future of marketing and communications will focus on the “always connected consumer.”