Print news is rapidly becoming a fluttering memory, a trip to movies means a weeks worth of dinner out of a can and finding a book store is just about as hard as finding a local Milk-bar for a reel of Hubba-bubba! New technology is rapidly changing the way we do the things we love, be it reading, exercising, watching a TV series, and yes, even the way we’re ‘hooking up’. For anyone under the age of 30, this is nothing new. We’ve been hearing ‘the world is changing’ for most of our lives and as a result of this, have developed into a highly adaptable and agile population group. According to this week’s reading, ‘A World of Differences’, Entertainment and Media (E&M) companies, complacency is no longer an option if continued business growth is of any significant value.
Identifying the shifting dynamics between business and consumer into five main dimensions of the global E&M industry, Lederer and Brownlow highlight the need for companies to capitalise on our increasingly integrated world whilst understanding the primacy of localised markets. Discussing the trends emerging from new digital platforms that provide consumer generated content and omni-channel programmes, the availability of an ‘on demand’ functionality is enabling companies to pivot towards a digitised business model and consequently, tap in the the fastest growing opportunity for growth and development.
The opportunities for traditionally structured businesses to stay ‘relevant’ now lie directly in the investment of consumer knowledge and data driven marketing as business competition becomes just as much about the product as it does the delivery. Whilst the internet is rapidly eliminating the barriers caused by geographical location, companies and brands are now being challenged to assess market groups and navigate the consumer’s local and international preferences.
Kick starting the semester with a presentation from Astrid Scott, experience producer at ABC R+D, lectorial 1 was all about future media experiences and exploring the technical innovations that are marking the beginning of an entirely new digital landscape. Despite leaving most of the lecture theatre reeling from the idea that a state funded broadcast company like the ABC were even interested in artificial intelligence or IoT (Internet of Things), let alone enlisted a whole department dedicated to developing projects that make your collection of samsung VR gear look like a Motorolla Razor, Astrid’s presentation made one thing very clear. Relevance. Relevance is critical. Whilst the concept of exponential technology and ‘Moore’s Law’, may not be anything revolutionary it is certainly something that is becoming increasingly engrained in everyday life with the ‘new’ becoming the ‘old’ faster than ever before.
Breaking off into groups to brainstorm elements of the three categories of ‘media futures’, the significance of relevance continued as my group discussed the who, what and why of ‘new media makers’. From makeup tutorials to travel bloggers, ‘insta models’ to video game masterminds, people all around the world are now making a living off the content they’re distributing online. After getting sidetracked discussing our favourite people to stalk on twitter, guilty pleasure cat snaps on Snap Chat and the highly questionable thought processing behind the videos that scatter our Facebook newsfeeds on the daily, the conversation began to move away from relevance and into something much more complex. With access to the internet, we now have the ability to produce media in our own way, access information on almost anything and everything and interact with people that we may have never have the opportunity to meet. The internet provides a space for people to express themselves and engage in pathways to improve their life socially, mentally and financially, providing a sense of empowerment in a myriad of ways.
From driverless cars to cloud connected robots, 3D printed organs to environmentally adaptive clothing, the fourth industrial revolution is expected to present a world of limitless possibilities. Klaus Schwab categorises the most prominent mega-trends of the fourth revolution into 3 main ‘clusters’; biological, digital and physical. Although identified as three individual groups, the realities and consequences derived from each are by no means separate. Each deeply dependent on digital power, every new innovation that takes place will arise from the complex interrelation between the three main ‘clusters’. Yet whilst we face an array of substantial changes that promise to change the world as we know it, not all changes are expected to impact humanity for the better.
With information technology changing faster than ever before, perhaps science is progressing faster than we can address the ethical, social and economical challenges it poses. Are we capable of understanding the world that our ‘on demand’ economy is screaming for? As we increasingly move in a completely digitalised environment, the risk of segregation and global inequality is an issue that will only become more prominent as digital participate becomes a crucial part of ones health and wellbeing both socially and physically.
Klaus Schwab provides a detailed insight into the current movements of the global economy and exacerbating tensions between new technology and ethical compliance.
Whilst not a particularly heavy read in language or expression of critical ideas, ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution’ provides a captivating blend of fascinating projections and morally perplexing issues. Despite feeling as if left at near drowning point as I try to resurface from the perplexing nature of this article, I neither feel alarmed nor nonchalant but rather, explicitly informed.