Recently, PwC has published its annual Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2018-2022 Report, which presents the data and analysis that its team of researchers and industry specialists have found regarding the evolution of media. The key takeaway from the article was that the rapidly evolving media industry is experiencing a ‘convergence 3.0.’ In other words, entertainment and media, technology and telecommunications are diverging and becoming increasingly more interconnected. This can have several big implications for the future of media.
An article from All Access Music Group summarized the findings from the report, saying how the U.S is the largest radio market globally, with revenue at $22.1 billion. Overall, the U.S music, radio and podcast market was worth $40.7 billion in 2017 and should reach $49.5 billion in 2022. It also reported how the U.S talk and news radio stations recorded some of their highest audience shares in 2017, and that audience levels will increase due to the impeding midterm elections in late 2018. The elections will most likely boost advertising revenue, which accounts 81% of total radio revenue in 2017.
In order to understand how this growth will take place, not just in terms of radio but for the whole entertainment and media industry, the report details several drivers of change that factor into the overarching theme of convergence.
One of these change factors mentioned is the need for ubiquitous connectivity. The PwC report talks about how investments in technology have expanded coverage, capacity, bandwidth and connectivity to the point where consumers and their devices are always connected and always on. Another factor in the entertainment and media industry that is changing is how to access and cater to consumers. Nowadays, consumers are primarily accessing media content from their phones, so companies must make sure that their content is mobile friendly. The biggest change factor that the report mentioned was the need for personalization. PwC explains how consumers no longer want one-size-fits-all entertainment and media experiences, and as a result, companies must adapt to make each experience personalized for the consumer.
Another theme that the report discusses is the importance of devoted users. In order to retain these loyal users, PwC recommends that companies should strive, “to create a sense of identity and community, target content and experiences at high-value audiences and address fans’ interest and preferences.”
A reoccurring topic that has caused many brand’s to be tarnished is trust, especially regarding data protection. In the report, PwC found that 92% of consumers agree that companies must be proactive about data protection. Eighty-two percent say the government should regulate companies’ use of data. Consumers are not satisfied with an absence in protection. A recent research report in PwC’s Consumer Intelligence Series, “protect.me”, found that 85% of consumers will not do business with a company if they have concerns about its security practices and 92% believe they should be able to control the information available around them on the Internet. In other words, consumers’ trust in companies to protect their information and data is at an upmost importance nowadays.
The report explores the theme of trust between the consumer and the company further. In order for companies to build trust, PwC recommends creating a greater sense of transparency within the company, as well as analyzing vital dimensions of trust. Trust also needs to be established for the consumer in other ways. Many consumers care if the companies they support are good for society. PwC reports how the sheer size, reach and utility of today’s media platforms are perpetuating this conversation further.
Overall, the ‘convergence’ that the report is centered around effects every professional and type of company in the media industry in some form. Understanding and preparing for these changes in the industry will be crucial within the near future.