While the media industry has already gone through significant transformation, it continues to evolve, impacting not just the what, but also the how and when, consumers engage with media, consuming everything from news to information to entertainment. What’s at the center of these changes? The consumer. It seems as if media companies are finally recognizing that to get the eyeballs, they need to provide what consumers want. It’s much more of a pull vs. a push model, unlocking potential by focusing on the viewer instead of the content itself. With this in mind, these examples, from TV to Print to Radio, demonstrate that there continues to be potential to engage consumers more deeply by better understanding their needs, in the end providing them with richer, more meaningful entertainment, media experiences, and marketing content across all these channels.
Consumers today are being asked to put their money where their eyes are. We’re seeing a proliferation of pay-to-watch media options from Netflix to Amazon offering original paid content. YouTube is also jumping into this pay-to-watch model, asking viewers to now pay for the creative content that gets posted on its site. The benefit to viewers is that the model will reward and continue to then draw the content they seek, yet it also gives content creators a way to get compensated for their creativity. Re-upp.com is yet another new way for viewers to make their preferences known vs. letting powerful media companies make all the calls. Started in May of this year in Stockholm, Re-upp.com lets fans jointly invest to keep their favorite shows on-air. With viewers making their own choices, entertainment will become that much more targeted and relevant.
With the 24/7 news cycle and so many content outlets, it’s nice to find some media providers who are actually demonstrating restraint in how they offer up news, information, and entertainment, acknowledging that we just can’t take in all the mostly irrelevant and untargeted information thrown at us. Both The Atlantic and Newsweek offer weekly issues that were specifically created with the consumer in mind. The Atlantic offers a weekly dose of its best content, serving up what they believe is a good mix of articles that readers can enjoy at the time they might be most open to taking it in. Newsweek made headlines late last year when it first announced that it was taking its magazine off stands and shifting to a digital-only format. While this may seem “same old,” Newsweek brought its own take to the digital magazine experience, from continuing to publish curated content only one time per week to designing a digital layout with a core focus on the consumer/reader experience.
While Internet radio, such as Pandora, certainly delivers personalized music, traditional radio formats have not progressed to offer a more customized, enhanced consumer experience. The BBC is on the forefront of changing this. Still in test mode, the BBC announced in May the development of its ‘Perceptive Radio,’ created by its Future Media North Lab division, that not only customizes content depending on location, but can also alter the actual sound experience based on the listening environment. This technological advancement is similar to responsive design for web content and is being coined object-based broadcasting—essentially turning a linear piece of content (the old way) into objects that can be re-assembled based on the media platform and listener environment. Again, such customization can create a more compelling consumer experience that will draw consumers in because they want to rather than have to.
This ever-evolving media landscape means that marketing touchpoints will also be in constant flux, but with this new consumer-centric focus these evolutions are likely for the better. While these changes keep marketers in a state of continuous education, the advancements just may make what has become a complex media mix a bit easier to navigate, allowing for an improved approach to connecting with consumers in meaningful and efficient ways. These developments continue to open up opportunities to better target media investments and to deliver relevant and timely content, thereby becoming a part of a more immersive and relevant consumer experience that drives efficiency and higher impact, with more relevant consumer content delivered at the right time.