Okay, firstly, I have a problem. It’s pretty underwhelming, but also total killjoy: what’s the deal with this week’s reading? Issued by the Global Entertainment Media Outlook, the report aggregates a large slice of data towards Entertainment and Media. Slapping it with the kitsch nickname of E&M, the authors glean statistics to serve the purpose of championing and positively glazing consumerism; albeit on both a digital, global and local sale. Set through five distinct dimensions of demography, competition, consumption, geography, and business models, my biggest concerns for this article was it’s monotonous focus on Youth. Youth is a word that frequents my own field of work, where Youth becomes a mountaintop and crux for the everlasting stream of media and its consumption.
If we aim it at the Youth, how could it possibly fail?
Flick over to page 19, where knowing Youth results in all the delicious things of Insight:
“For E&M companies with the right strategies and insights, the opportunities are legion. And the shifts play to the strengths of companies with big market positions, capital they can invest, strong brands, and strength in understanding local tastes and preferences. If they make the right calls, incumbents can position themselves to capitalise on the next phase of change and drive growth.”
Reflecting off these ideas, it’s pretty to clear that to know the Youth market is to predict. And it’s in this prediction I want to challenge with a keen eye. If younger people really do consume more media than older people – and of course, you can’t argue the figures – how can we address why there is a disconnect between these patterns and adopting digital behaviours? If all media is Youth-orientated, doesn’t that mean that there’s a huge portion of an ageing demographic that’s left underdeveloped? (Of course, I say this with an arched brow, there are 18 seasons of Midsomer Murder’s after all.)
And yes, while there is an incredible logic to creating entertainment and content in the media industry tailored to a desired audience, these numbers should be a guide and not the start, beginning and end of creative discussion. I read a lot of work from my peers whose lightbulb moments occur in the realisation that content can be crafted for a demographic, rather than a passion fleshed-out and executed for their own cause and effect. If the “strong brands [have to be] underpinned by the best talent”, shouldn’t this conversation begin in the most authentic way possible without mathematics, concerns of the GDP and the current of fast-content? Call my questions one of Youth.