What makes people take an interest in media content? How do you produce media content that people cares about? Two fundamentally interesting questions in a time when traditional media are loosing both incomes and audiences at the same time. The multi billion dollar media industry in transformation is creating an increasingly squeeky sound these day. And the main reason is that people don´t want to get interrupted in their quest for fun distractions and useful information by non-televant ads. And people have LOTS of more sources to hunt for fun and facts today than just a couple of years ago.
For anyone involved in the media business it´s time to look for some stable ground to stand on when undergoing the transformation. One way of doing that is to step back a little bit and look for underlaying patterns in the mechanisms of the media business. And for me, It´s all about information and the management of it.
The old tricks of the trade – and the new ones
The old way of doing things was about hiearchichal categorisation. Just at libraries created long indexes to guide the searchers of information – the media business created categories for the content and sections in media to guide both the audience and the ad industry who looked for the proper place to place their ads.
The new way of doing things is about relations and context. Context is king, by the way – since we humans are interpreting machines rather than calculating machines.
Context: discourse that surrounds a language unit and helps to determine its interpretation.
Use your right brain when sorting the media content!
I´ve work with content analysis of media and know for sure (I´ve counted thousands of press clippings by hand… That´s why I love online media and computers) that that business is built up around categorization. Media TYPES, article TYPES, classes of topics and sentiments. But below all of that the production and consumtion of media is more about psychology than logistics. During the era of Mass Media the noble art of logistics rose to it´s peak and outshone what it´s all really about – giving people what they want. And wanting is a process going on in the hearts and minds of people.
Three major trends that transforms the media industry
Three majour trends can be identified that are nor pushing the whole echosystem of the media industry (advertisers, media owners, content providers and reserachers) into a primarily psychological focus:
1. Online media distribution forces the art of logistics into managing small audiences via gigantic numbers of channels instead of the other way around. The hard part isn´t keeping track of the channels, but keeping track of the many and fast-moving audiences.
2. Ad blindness. People are either fed up with contextually non-relevant commercial messages or in a position to choose other sources rapidly – making them hard to catch for slow moving banners and the like. Google adressed both these problems in a brilliant way and made a buck or two in the process.
3. Consumer power. Media companies used to be thought of like the energy, pharmaceutical and weapons industries. In a society abundant of media content it´s the consumers market – not the producers. Brought up with the idea that media provides both fun and information the audiences are still hungry for content and are rapidly growing fat and lazy. Just like our bodies are built to look for fat and sugar and the environmental changes are quicker than our bodies and psyches are able to adapt.
The media industry therefore needs to find new ways of connecting producers and consumers. Ways that at least adresses the above mentioned trends. Let´s look at some solutions. Fortsätt läsa ”New media, same old people – coping in the Media Industry Transformation”