The Future of Media

I’ve come up with seven ideas on how I think the future of media will turn out. I shot a video, and I invite you to participate further by creating your own ideas and potentially linking back to this post at http://chrisbrogan.com/futureofmedia. You might see it differently, and/or you might want some extrapolation on my points. That’s why we’re here. Let’s talk about the future and see what we think is coming out. I shot this video to go with the story:

Media Will Be Multi Touch

By this, I mean to say that we will have text, video, audio, games, and several other interaction types as part of media. It will almost never be a standalone kind of product any more. Magazines won’t just be in print. Everything will blend between the visual and the textual and back again. I think that this already shows in things like Richard Branson’s Project magazine, or Wired, and there are more and more examples of this coming every day. By “multi-touch,” I mean that we’ll have multiple touchpoints from which to consume this.

Media Will Be Mobile

We already consume more and more from our mobile device, but the way we create media right now is still primarily as if we’re imagining a laptop. We’re going to move into making media that is primarily consumed by mobile devices (phones, iPads, and several other in-between sized devices). This means that bandwidth will become an issue, that we’ll have to think about different ways to package information, and that we’ll have to think about the various ways that information will be used in different physical contexts as well as by different people.

Media Will Be Serial

Because media will be mobile and have multiple touchpoints, I believe media will be serial. We’re already seeing “first news” and “full news” when something happens. Breaking news is often made up of uncorroborated information, and we’ll see this trend expand even more out onto an edge.

Media Will Be Two-Way

We’ll rely on people to help tell the stories with us. It will be a conversation (even more so than the cliche is used today).

Media Will Be Rich Data Minded

It won’t be static data. We’ll have stories, fiction and otherwise, that pull elements from the world around us. I got this idea from Liza Daly, a smart person I met on a train ride recently.

Media Will Be Subscription-Based

I think we won’t buy a book, but instead, a subscription to a book, such that it updates and that parts change over time. I think that we’ll have relationships via “books as a platform” instead of just dead tree experiences.

Media Will Be Faster With Longer Burn

We’ll have a lot more connection with media hitting us the moment something happens, but then it’ll have a longer time line to getting completely explained.

What’s Your Take?

How do you see media changing over time?

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  • http://www.jeffpersch.com Anonymous

    I think if you are thinking on these lines that and you have an iPad, you should download the Grey’s Anatomy app and watch the episode this week with the app running. Even though I am not a huge fan of the show, it made me entrenched in the episode last week.

    I would have to say that it was like listening to commentary track on a movie with just reading the snippets that come on the ipad screen.

    Try it! I think it is the future of TV viewing through traditional means…..

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I haven’t done that yet. I don’t use my iPad very much yet, but will give it a whirl.

  • Nina

    Thank you Chris! This one really hit a nerve… nice to see it all ‘organized’.

    Two things I’d like to address in addition are, first the unwillingness of the general heavy-internet users (younger generation) to pay for any content. So with the entire talk about monetization on the internet is a big question mark and a huge one not to be dismissed. I’d love to hear any thoughts about that.

    And secondly, we assume that we all have access to the internet 24/7 and at broadband speed. There are entire sections of this country that have NO internet access and rely on dial-up phone lines. This creates a very dangerous vacuum. As we move more and more into a virtual world – the knowledge gap (i.e. socio-economic gab) will widen exponentially.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      You’ve got two great points, Nina. I’ll tell you, though, I think BOTH come down to bare bones market demands. In the first case, people pay for things that grow them. In the second, broadband *is* spreading out into that divide. It’s just not going fast as we’d like. I see poor people with iPhones (not exaggerating).

  • http://www.socialmediawave.com socialmediawave

    Hi Chris- timely topic.

    I agree completely with your forecast!

    So many comments regarding iPhone/ iPad apps- this goes way beyond the box and into the API level.

    The technology exists- we are bringing a model to the eBook market in the next few months.

    What is needed are meaningful management frameworks, dashboards and monetization models to be adopted as Industry Marketing standards. This is like the ISP’s in the Internet build out- trying to ring fence profit centers.

    Publishers know this and will try to be first market movers (with our help of course)

    Regards
    Craig

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Oddly, I don’t even think standards have to happen once we move from CPM to CPA a lot more often. I just think that CPM’s days are limited, but I’m way out on a limb in saying that.

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  • http://twitter.com/C_Pappas Christina Pappas

    HI Chris,

    I like the 7 you came up with here. One I may add is that media will be user generated. Kind of a combination of your two-way point and Wikipedia in that the consumer or user will generate the content and the media stream. A constant collaboration of thoughts from the tribe on a topic or topics. Just a thought ~

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I don’t disagree that some of it will be user-generated, but someone else pointed out (way down, I forget who and am too lazy to look) that a lot more media will be created by those with a proclivity to create media. I think that’s true.

  • Carla Briceno

    I would also add that media will be multicultural! Thank you, Chris!

  • http://twitter.com/susangiurleo susangiurleo

    As I read the comments below it occurs to me that media in the future will be tightly niched. We won’t have a collective experience of the world as we used to when we relied on broadcast media. Why? Our human brains can’t process all the input. There will be too much available at too many touch points. So, we’ll select what resonates with us and ignore the rest. It won’t be planned that way, but biologically we can only focus on so much.

    So media makers will need to speak to a small group who are ‘raving fans’ and eliminate all other distractions. This is already happening now..if I don’t want to know what’s happening in Egypt, I don’t have to listen. If I only want to hear political commentary that resonates with my values I have places where I can go and hear only one side. It’s actually harder to find the balanced view.
    This movement will leave us as a culture vulnerable, I think, to a period where we are very disconnected from each other.

    Staying tuned in to both sides of an issue/product/brand will require effort that most won’t invest their time in so they’ll accept the media they are happy to access. Could be a boon for businesses, not so cool for the bigger world, IMHO.

    • http://cybersmartwebmarketing.com/ Chuck Jines

      Thank you susangiurelo! I agree that things are not moving in the best direction. More and more soundbites, blips, and Tweets that make it less and less possible to express entire concepts. It’s Orwellian in many ways. I find myself having to watch more and more channels to get a complete picture, and see things splintering of into more and more disconnected groups.

    • http://cybersmartwebmarketing.com/ Chuck Jines

      Thank you susangiurelo! I agree that things are not moving in the best direction. More and more soundbites, blips, and Tweets that make it less and less possible to express entire concepts. It’s Orwellian in many ways. I find myself having to watch more and more channels to get a complete picture, and see things splintering of into more and more disconnected groups.

  • http://www.callummahoney.com Callum Mahoney

    Excellent video Chris.

    I particularly like the the subscription based ideas. As someone whose work involves skill acquisition and development, I think media will also become more multi-faceted. We seeing this to a degree now, but as learning styles become more understood by those producing the ‘media’, I think they will target specific individuals through the different forms of media.

  • http://www.callummahoney.com Callum Mahoney

    Excellent video Chris.

    I particularly like the the subscription based ideas. As someone whose work involves skill acquisition and development, I think media will also become more multi-faceted. We seeing this to a degree now, but as learning styles become more understood by those producing the ‘media’, I think they will target specific individuals through the different forms of media.

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  • http://www.eqentia.com William Mougayar

    Great list.
    How about being personalized, knowing our likes and interests, and adapting to our needs.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I don’t see it happening exactly that way YET, but soonish. If that’s vague enough for you. : )

      • http://www.eqentia.com William Mougayar

        I’m with you, and this was a “loaded” question. Some believe that personalization can be achieved via algorithms and watching social graphs movements, but until a computer starts to read our mind, that level of personalization will never happen. Reality is that we keep changing our minds about what we like and want to be interested in. To get anywhere, a user has to keep instrumenting their specific needs, beyond subtle “likes” gestures or linking/browsing history breadcrumbs.

        We achieve personalization (Eqentia) via semantic manipulations and precision in filtering that closely match interests, then we calibrate the results against social media attention.

        • C Pope

          I think we are very close to personalization. Think about the movie “Minority Report.” As John Anderton (Tom Cruise) walks throught the store the ads are directed to the match of the data base Anderton to the retinal scan (or maybe to the credit card in one’s pocket). Marketing is the beating heart, the driver of just about everything. I don’t think personalization is as complicated as portrayed.

  • http://twitter.com/DavepRogers DaveRogers

    Insightful and deep. The serial concept is one my wife and I were discussing just last week. We miss the “serial” experience and hope you are right about it coming back.

  • http://twitter.com/DavepRogers DaveRogers

    Insightful and deep. The serial concept is one my wife and I were discussing just last week. We miss the “serial” experience and hope you are right about it coming back.

  • http://www.made-in-china.com/products-search/hot-china-products/Armchair.html Armchair world

    I totally agree with you! The world is on the way, also the media is.

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  • http://DonnyGamble.com Donny Gamble

    I think the mobile transition will be huge and it will happen quite rapidly. We are slowly starting to realize the effect that it will have.

  • http://twitter.com/live_alpharetta Sabine Taylor

    Mobile is where ever we go…out to the game, at work, at home, in the car it is there. Mobile even has a skin….it is like family. So in order for a company to leverage its presence…..it should have a mobile friendly site.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      I love these thoughts, Sabine. “Mobile even has a skin… it’s like family.” If I don’t steal that for a speech, it’s because I’m lazy.

  • http://www.talkingmediasales.com Ben Shute

    Some good thoughts Chris, and it’s good to see so much of the community adding their thoughts.

    When I think future of media, whatever it may be, my main thoughts are – how will, and can it, be sold? The shifts in the way media is created and distributed has impacted the way marketers spend (or don’t spend it, for that matter)

    It will be an interesting challenge for those that sell it.

  • http://www.talkingmediasales.com Ben Shute

    Some good thoughts Chris, and it’s good to see so much of the community adding their thoughts.

    When I think future of media, whatever it may be, my main thoughts are – how will, and can it, be sold? The shifts in the way media is created and distributed has impacted the way marketers spend (or don’t spend it, for that matter)

    It will be an interesting challenge for those that sell it.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      You’re right, Ben, that it’ll be a shifty thing. I only predicted a few years out, but I think it’ll go differently. : )

  • http://www.talkingmediasales.com Ben Shute

    Some good thoughts Chris, and it’s good to see so much of the community adding their thoughts.

    When I think future of media, whatever it may be, my main thoughts are – how will, and can it, be sold? The shifts in the way media is created and distributed has impacted the way marketers spend (or don’t spend it, for that matter)

    It will be an interesting challenge for those that sell it.

  • http://www.careerealism.com CAREEREALISM

    Chris, I lost sleep over this post!

    Here’s the video thoughts I recorded about why I think media has to be WOMP-worthy.

    • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

      Love it! Thanks for sharing it with us. : )

  • http://chrisbrogan.com Chris Brogan

    I think you’re not wrong. People might choose just one. But I think there’ll be a “mostly” that trends towards multi-touch. Do you think the MAJORITY will stick with a just-one experience?

    • http://rickmanelius.com Rick Manelius

      I wish I knew the answer to your question. I love technology and things like wired (I’ve been a subscriber for many many years), but if attention and time are our most precious resource, can we truly afford to make and consume everything as a mashup?

      I would however totally agree that multiple versions of the same information will DEFINITELY rise as it will provide each person a way to experience it in the way they would like.

      So I guess my answer is this: I think multiple variants of the same information will definitely increase (e.g. one video making it to multiple devices and possibly a text transcript version)… but mashups combining multiple formats in one package… not so sure just yet.

      I’ll nudgemail this and return to this post in a year. If you’re right (which you’ll probably will be), I’ll buy you a virtual beer :)

    • http://rickmanelius.com Rick Manelius

      I think I finally understand what you really mean after an epiphany I had yesterday. It’s not just that you can reach different markets based on what the other person wants to consume (video versus text), it’s just that (in like with your story about you post) people will get to see a different persona of you.

      What we say and look like in video is completely different than what we sound like in text. So in a sense, it’s giving a more complete picture of the person from all possible angles. That is something truly important… and with that, I whole heartedly agree now! :)

    • http://rickmanelius.com Rick Manelius

      I think I finally understand what you really mean after an epiphany I had yesterday. It’s not just that you can reach different markets based on what the other person wants to consume (video versus text), it’s just that (in like with your story about you post) people will get to see a different persona of you.

      What we say and look like in video is completely different than what we sound like in text. So in a sense, it’s giving a more complete picture of the person from all possible angles. That is something truly important… and with that, I whole heartedly agree now! :)

  • http://mindmulch.wordpress.com Don F Perkins

    Chris

    7 great observations about media market trends. Good food for thought. It’s got me thinking about several things: what are the cultural implications of these trends; how will these trends shape our culture, and will those changes be positive or negative? As an example, when I think of the fact that there are 156M public blogs on the internet as of Feb 16th, will it become harder and harder to focus our attention on the media we need or want? Will content curation and search tools keep up with the pace of guiding us to the data we need? Will the presumptions of bots and the noise of marketing hype impare our ability to learn? Or will we adapt to it and learn to be more discerning?

    I like the idea that content will be multitouch because of the different ways we learn and retain information. I hope that learning based media will leverage the serial nature of new media, our love of gameplay and the fact that the majority of us are visual learners to create ways to grow our minds by meeting us where we are, when we are at the ideal place to learn and increasing internalization through varied repetition that is fun, engaging and meaningful.

    Another thought spurred by your post is the power of collaboration. You mentioned Two-way media; what about three way or fifteen way? I believe there is tremendous potential when two or more people begin collaborating toward a goal with right attitudes. Together, they can see things that the individual cannot, they can provide clarification, validation and expansion of their ideas for amplify success. To me this is the real golden ring new media: people finding ways to gather their minds and focus that amped energy toward unified causes for collective good.

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  • Anonymous

    Chirs,

    Your first two topics – Media Will Be Multi Touch and Media Will Be Mobile – how do you see Mobile Tagging playing a role in this equation?

    FYI – I am the community manager for Microsoft Tag but I’m just curios to hear your thoughts on the industry overall and how do you see this type of technology helping/hindering the blend of multi touch and mobile

  • Ton

    I think this all quite superficial. Everyone seems to mistake means for goals. We’ve always been social (talking or gossiping), mobile (paper in under your arm) or multitouch. That doesn’t say anything about the future of media.

    What is changing rapidly are the underlying business models. They’re getting more complex by the month. That accounts not only for newspapers, but also for businesses trying to use media to sell products.

    Ton – the Netherlands

    The business model of media is a question of reach versus control. The more people you try to reach, the more you’re losing control (and thus revenue). Example is free news: you’re reach grows immensely, but you miss out on a fixed revenue. Same with companies using social media: you reach is great, but it can turn against you because you can’t control it very well.

    So the future of media is an ever complexing search for an optimal balance between reach and control. And we’re all into finding this balance. Customers, newspapers and businesses.

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  • http://socialdeviants.blogspot.com/ janet

    i like the idea of media becoming more subscription-based, so that we have access to the more frequently updated editions, and rapidly-changing information. That’s extremely appealing to me. I think we see it headed that way at least in terms of mobile content. I’m all for it.

  • http://socialdeviants.blogspot.com/ janet

    i like the idea of media becoming more subscription-based, so that we have access to the more frequently updated editions, and rapidly-changing information. That’s extremely appealing to me. I think we see it headed that way at least in terms of mobile content. I’m all for it.

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  • http://www.realestateactive.com/ Michael Real

    I think media will be more focused on social media. This is one reason why many types of industries come out to provide social experience. I agree media will be mobile. it is happening now.

  • http://www.realestateactive.com/ Michael Real

    I think media will be more focused on social media. This is one reason why many types of industries come out to provide social experience. I agree media will be mobile. it is happening now.

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  • Veggies

    Hey Chris,
    An insightful post. ‘Not sure if you are following it but up here in Canada the bandwidth issue is currently being kicked around. The (big) networks want to charge “heavy users”, arguing that they are eating up space that will require future infrastructure investment. I heard an argument that this was bogus because bandwidth was far cheaper than they were proposing to charge and, that most users were limited in the amount of b/w they could use because of download speeds. All else aside tho’ – they are the ones that have it and we are the ones that want it!
    Cheers

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  • mrsdurff

    I agree and add that media will be increasingly globally collaborative and include outsourced content.

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  • http://blog.anagam.com AnagaM

    Great observations about what’s to come that’s already here, information is moving so fast, piling on top of itself and growing exponentially. I think that there’s gonna be “sound–>>text” video browsing where you will say a word or a phrase and it will look for it in videos, scanning several seconds before and after and for key words or sounds in the millions of online video to identify even tones we hum into the device. new kinds of virtual conversations will develop as social networkings where things will be at a permanent boil. New visitors always jumping into a heated argument, and recurring visitors alike creating a ever happening conversation.
    Vernor Vinge talked about this “augmented reality” in his 2002 Fast Times at Fairmont Heigh”, one of the characters expresses herself better trough old movies characters playing her emotions as her skin.

  • http://twitter.com/floatingmeme Steve Withers

    I want to keep a “dead tree” around (digital or analog) against the day when the source of the information decides to alter it…..perhaps re-writing or deleting history. Media must also be amenable to audit and long term storage.

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