In the Media 6, week 2 assigned reading, Chris Ledger and Megan Brownlow of PWC assess the global trends across the Entertainment and Media (E&M) industries. They begin by stating that the threat of free media and public sharing (which isn’t new actually, it has been present for a number of years – file-sharing, Limewire and bitTorrent for example) is one of the reasons that despite financial growth, the US as current world E&M market leader “is likely to have difficulty keeping up with the economy as a whole.” However despite not being a financial expert, I tend to disagree with this. I don’t foresee a decline in across E&M, but rather semi-constant growth as companies are constantly adapting and introducing new technologies, and consumers are buying them. Yet I do predict that industry monopolies will expand into even greater sector giants (think Google) affecting, and probably buying out smaller businesses.
What PWC analyses, which provides a broader understanding than most national reports, is a global survey. The contrast between developing, “hot” nations (e.g. Peru, Venezuela, Pakistan, Nigeria) with media powerhouse nations (U.S, U.K) creates what they describe as a “multi-shifting media landscape”. Some countries are stagnant in growth, while other are increasing rapidly.
In terms of platforms, looking at Internet, video, publishing, music and video games, the greatest expansion and growth is obviously across the Internet. And while internet access increases across the world, as does the potential reach for advertisers. Video entertainment features the second greatest growth. I believe this is due to the recent simplicity and accessibility of video creation. Equipment, editing software and distribution channels (E.g. Youtube, Vimeo) is easier to perform with for the everyday consumer than ever before. Similarly, the big studios don’t have as much power as they used to, with numerous independent Video production sources adding to the plethora of entertainment on the market. The growth of Video Games remain relatively level, and considering the ability to constantly adapt to new technologies (e.g. 3D, VR), I believe games will always be relevant at a comparable level.
The report stresses the influence of today and tomorrow’s key to digital around the world – youth. It states that there is “almost perfect correlation between markets with more youthful populations and those with higher E&M growth”, despite some companies finding it “easier and more comforting to pitch their products and services at putatively more affluent older people.” The way I see it, it’s a battle between playing it safe, where revenue is almost statistically guaranteed, or taking a risk that has far greater potential. Likewise with the comparison of unstable developing nations, where there is a younger demographic such as Pakistan who have “rapid growth… but are more difficult to access”, with contrasting developed markets. Is the instability of “varied growth patterns” worth the risk? Most E&M companies would say yes.
The E&M society is constantly reinventing itself, “forming the creation of new business models” – just look at the music scene – streaming is the new black, giving relatively new companies like Spotify and Pandora reign, CD’s are old, which has closed down numerous stores like Sanity, and the resurgence of vinyl is reviving small business from the grave.
In summary, what I gleaned from this reading was mostly the disparity between developed and undeveloped nations, the reliance of youth, and the changing E&M environment that gives the population the “ability to design and curate your own media diet”.
There’s also been 100+ international versions of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – a nifty fun fact.
Until next week!