Media Disruption Continues as Attackers Fail and Defenders Wonder What's Coming Next?

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I am just counting how many industries today are getting near their industry breakpoints, accelerated by the current crisis and changes in consumer attitude towards anything. With macro forces pushing a collision between previously unrelated industries and the smart ones know a reset is necessary. Media is on top of the list.

We are not only talking about company reconfiguration, but also industry reconfigure itself as value chains are breaking up and co-creation is happening up and down the value chain. Social Technologies are the key enablers for openness and cross-participation. I am certain that the faces of media and publishing, personal banking, music, healthcare, auto, telecom will be very different in just a few short years.

I was meeting with a number of clients while in London and we talked about how Twitter and whatever future versions of that are becoming a part of our life. Almost any content is available now at our finger tips and it takes me literally a few seconds to call up from YouTube a video of anything. And I remember as a kid, I was watching everything they tried to put on TV until 1 am and then the Queen showed up and that’s bedtime. I wish it were the same for the Internet, imagine if the Queen shows up on my sons’ computer after 2am and shut down their network. Young adults have a problem with consuming unlimited amount of junk from the Internet. I need the Queen back.

Has TV and the Intent converged it? Mobile TV hasn’t really happened or do we really need it? iPhone is kind of doing that. Where’s interactive TV? That’s old. How about social TV? How can we make watching TV social? I have almost forgotten that TV is so boring here in the UK and thank God there’s the Internet. Will the future of Apple TV give us more? So far it is quite disappointing and Apple doesn’t want to talk about it. I’ve thrown out all my TV recording devices (PVRs) because I really don’t need them although they were pricey when I bought them.

I want to see faster and better convergence. I don’t want my TV to work like my computer and I don’t want my computer to work like a TV too. So what kind of convergence am I looking for? I am not sure. Let me try to imagine for a second how convergence makes sense for me. For me, my choices need to follow me. I don’t want to flip stations (and I have too many remote controllers) and I want to decide what to watch now and what to watch later, or what to watch with someone. I don’t just mean watching physically with someone in one place, it can be remote. I want to be able to know how each episode is related and if possible go back to the last one for a refresh. I’d like to see and rank each Episode of Flashpoint based on its popularity or how people like the ending etc.

Joost, the provider of interactive TV experience on the web just announced that it would shift from a consumer strategy to licensing its technology to cable and satellite broadcasters. This is a shift in business model signifying the failure of their disruptive strategy. They were the first third-party web company to sign online-distribution deals with media companies such as CBS and Viacom, which also made equity investments in the company. Even the disruptors struggle to make that work.

Fragmentation and experimentation are creating chaos in the media business and a complete rethink of the economic underpinnings of the $300+ billion TV industry. To rethink the viewer proposition based on when, what, where, and how? The complex redesign of the distribution will be characterized by organizing complex channel carriage agreements to something that enables global distribution in an organic and network-based distribution model leveraging search and social media.

The media folks need to make these disruptions and uncertainties their friend. To do that they need to step back and have context of things to see how things make sense. I don’t think an “all-media-in-one” idea is the answer. Media will never be the same again.

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