When Dietmar Mateschitz declared that “Red Bull is a media company, much more than a drinks brand” it made people think about what media really is today, and how value is created. Here was a manufacturer, through its adventures into extreme sporting events had realised that its brand stood for much more than adrenelin in a can. From magazines to movies, the attitudes and activities of the brand, were captured in many ways.
The phrase “media” used to be quite obvious. Printers and broadcasters gathered content and delivered it to you through their books, newspapers, TV and radio channels. Now it is much more complicated. We live in a world surrounded by multiple screens. Screens are our windows into a mashed-up world of endless content and channel options. It can seem like overload, but at the same time we are in control of what, when and how. We search, select and shape the content we want. We increasingly create and share it. As a result content is about collaboration, and media a shared platforms.
Audiences have transformed from passive masses into individual consumers, demanding and discerning, emotional and addictive. We consume on demand, absorbing information in snack size chunks, typically video and images rather than words, but also like to occassionally indulge in an entire box set in one day. Advertisers are left thinking how to reengage with people who skip their disruptive breaks, but at the same time see a world of augmented reality where we can click to buy Brad Pitt’s jeans on impulse, or to dive deep into areas of interest beyond our superficial view.
What matters most in the new world of content and media is
- Consumption – more than audiences, people consume on their terms, but what matters most is their loyalty and advocacy – building fan bases that emotionally engage, participate and advocate. Netflix harness the power of monitoring every behaviour, whilst Pledge Music engage fans before the music is even created.
- Collaboration – content is richer and more relevant when it is created together, consumers with consumers, with creators, and with other types of partners. This taps into the diverse creativity and passion of many different players, whilst also engaging consumers deeply as demonstrated from Pinterest to Ushihida.
- Convergence – as content flows across platforms, richer experiences emerge that enable brands to do more, sports and entertainment to become more immersive, as well as convenient. Technologies, from gaming for example, spread across other platforms making interfaces more engaging and human.
- Commercialisation – the notion that content is free, legitimately or not, challenges every content owner to think more creatively about they create more perceived value, and monetise it. Coursera offers you the content of Harvard free, Spotify offer you everything on iTunes free. New business models are key.
The future of content and media is perhaps one of the most important and exiting categories in which “gamechangers” are being most disruptive. Of course, it can seem like technology, but that simply enables content, access and application.
Meet the Gamechangers in Futuremedia
BuzzFeed – Shaking up media across the globe
The digital media powerhouse, read by over 200 million people every month, was declared the world's most innovative company in 2016.
Bytedance – Chinese AI-enabled news and entertainment platform
If you live outside of Asia, you’re about to get more familiar with the five-year-old internet news and video aggregator. Bytedance is already a household name in China, where its Toutiao information and content-recommendation service garners north of 120 million daily active users in the country. In early 2018 the Beijing-based company, with a valuation around $20 billion, started making bigger moves to crack into the world of mobile video, media and entertainment.
City Football Group – Reinventing the football club, from Manchester to Yokohama
Frank Lampard was reluctant to leave his beloved Chelsea for any other English team. Like many star players in their final years, he chose America, joined New York City FC as they launched into the MLS. He started off well, too well actually, because soon the club's owners wanted him to play elsewhere, for their English club, Manchester City. Lampard had little choice, realising that he'd signed up to a network of clubs, rather than one. It symbolised the future of football.
Coursera – The best education available to everyone
Coursera, and other MOOCs, are on the verge of fundamentally disrupting education, knowledge and expertise, across the world. By moving the best university courses online, with a business model that allows universal access, they can be transformational on society, and the opportunities for everyone.
Crooked Media – The podcast to save American politics
Crooked Media promises a no bullshit a no-bullshit conversation about politics where you can laugh, cry, scream, ridicule us daily, share your ideas, and hopefully decide that you want to help fix this mess too. That goes for Democrats who want to learn from our party’s mistakes (which is hard because things are so perfect), Republicans ready to hold Trump accountable (fingers crossed on that one!), and everybody, everywhere who’s been asking the same question: What do we do now?
Crystal – This is you, based on everything online
Crystal gives you instant access to millions of personality profiles based on everything that can be found online about each person. You'll even find a profile of yourself. It then gives free communication advice for anyone you meet, showing how your personality relates to theirs, and how you can most effectively engage them, and more.
Dalian Wanda – China's Walt Disney, the world's largest property group
Dalian Wanda Group was founded in 1988 and operates in four key areas: commercial properties, culture & tourism, e-commerce and department stores. In 2014, the company had assets of 534.1 billion yuan and revenues of 242.48 billion yuan. The company now operates 125 Wanda Plazas, 81 hotels (including 68 five-star hotels), 6,600 cinema screens and 99 department stores nationwide. Looking ahead, by 2020, Wanda aims to grow itself into a leading MNC with assets of 1 trillion yuan, annual revenues of 600 billion yuan and net income of 60 billion yuan.
Disney Pixar – Inspiring humanity through the power of storytelling
Pixar creates the world’s most loved movies. Creating animations is relatively slow and costly, but with a focus on character building and incredible storytelling, the brand has created hit after hit. It’s creative process – based around ideas and stories – is a great model for any type of brand building and communication.
FanDuel – Making sports more exciting, everyday.
FanDuel is the world-leading online daily fantasy sports company, operating in one of the fastest growing sectors of the sports and entertainment industry. It has become a household name in the US and one of Scotland’s only two unicorn companies, valued at more than $1 billion. Since its launch in 2009, its been disrupting the fantasy sports industry and changing the way millions of people experience sports.
Fatherly – Where Dad's become Superdads, and still have a life
Fatherly is the fastest-growing parenting site on the web, targeting millennial parents who are entering the most inquisitive and acquisitive phase of their lives. Fatherly has already generated over 1bn video views this year, has been named Oprah's favorite website of 2016 and its success capturing the hearts and minds of young parents has been documented in Adweek, CNN, and others. Fatherly has also been nominated twice by the Webby’s as “Best Parenting Site on the Internet” in just its first year in existence. By focusing on dads as well as young mums, Fatherly’s able to capture both sides of the parenting market, provide differentiated content in a space oversaturated with “Mum” content, and hone in on a key insight that millennial parents increasingly share parenting responsibilities and purchasing decisions.
Jaunt – Immerse yourself in cinematic virtual reality
The idea for Jaunt originated in early 2013 when one of the founders returned from an amazing experience at Zion National Park. What if he could go back there for a brief jaunt, at any time, from any place? The emerging consumer VR industry provides the mechanism to travel to virtual worlds. Jaunt aims to put realism back into the virtual reality experience, lending an uncanny sense of presence never before possible with any other technology.
Magic Leap – "It's like dreaming" ... bringing virtual reality to life
Magic Leap's mind-bending "mixed reality" technology uses photonic wafer chips to manipulate light. It superimposes 3D generated images over real world objects, by projecting a digital light field into the user's eye. Founder Rony Abovitz says "the best way to describe it, is like dreaming." He has attracted $1.4bn funding from Alibaba and Google, and is currently signed up contracts with leading movie studios and game makers.
Netflix – Changing what and when we watch
Netflix grew out of consumer frustration with the stupid rules of an old model. This provoked one guy into creating a better solution, which has continued to evolve in format and business model as new technologies emerge, and competitors catch up. The next horizon of data-driven content creation is perhaps most intriguing.
OneWeb – Global internet access for everyone
Airbus, Bharti, Coca-Cola and Virgin are just some of the investors who have together pledged over $500m to create the world's first global satellite-based internet service. OneWeb is building a network of 700 satellites to take broadband access to every corner of our planet - including cars, aircraft, and homes in the most remote locations.
Paris Saint-Germain – A new brand to dream bigger
Paris Saint-Germain, one of Europe’s youngest soccer clubs and the only major team in Paris, has been transformed on and off the pitch in recent years.
Riot Games – League of Legends is reinventing the world of gaming, and the world of sport.
In a world where real sports are challenged by online gaming, attention spans fall from a 2 hour movie to a 10 second snapchat, lying in your bedroom but still seeking the thrill of the partisan crowd ... Riot Games is the answer to your millennial prayers. Each game demands 30 to 60 minutes of players' undivided attention. The average player spends 30 hours a month on the game ... that's three billion player-hours each month
Room to Read – Getting millions to learn: taking a local approach to teaching and learning literacy skills
Room to Read is an inspiring not-for-profit organisation, seeking to build literacy and gender equality, particularly in Africa and Asia. The program employs local authors to write children’s books in the mother tongue.
Snap – Share life with friends, fast and fun
Snap a photo or a video, add a caption, and send it to a friend (or maybe a few). They'll view it, laugh, and then the snap disappears from the screen - unless your friend takes a screenshot!
Spotify – The freemium business model for music
Spotify grew out of deviant behaviour – imitating the actions of illegal downloaders to find a legal business model which combines free access with the ability to also make money as a business, and for artists and publishers. The brand is contagious, driven by consumer collaboration, and staying topical.
TransferWise – Money without borders
TransferWise was born of frustration. Sending money abroad is deceptively expensive, thanks to the hidden charges we’ve all been forced to pay. The banks claim “free money transfers”, “0% commission.” Sounds like money’s already flowing freely, but far from it. It’s pure propaganda. TransferWise says it "removes all the wrongness", letting people send money abroad at the lowest possible true cost. Using only real exchange rates and tiny not-hidden-fees. Headaches averted, and a revolution sparked.
Vice Media – Media for millennials
Vice was launched in 1994 as a "punk zine" and has since expanded into a leading global youth media company with bureaus in over 30 countries. It includes the world’s premier original online video destination, a network of digital channels, a television production studio, a magazine, a record label, an in-house creative agency, a consumer insights team, and a book-publishing division.