The media industry is at a crossroads. With the added assistance of notable politicians and their supporters, “fake news” has been disruptive to the industry. Another factor that has hampered the media industry has been technological advances. The ways content is being displayed, stored, shared, and consumed are forcing publishers to figure out how to transform the ways they do business in an effective manner.

The currents of change in the media industry are overwhelming, and publishers are desperately searching for new ways to mitigate the turmoil, while also seeking out solutions in regard to leveraging this ever-changing landscape in an efficient and successful manor.

To that end, I present five key areas/building blocks I believe are critical in order to create a more prosperous media industry.

Step 1: Create a New Typology of Digital Publishers

In the last decade or so, social networks have dramatically changed the way people consume content. Social networks give us the power to choose our friends and to select the kind of content that we would like to be exposed to. Generations Y & Z consume news, gossip, sport scores, etc. directly from exclusive channels of social media. This new generation is in fact quite satisfied with the short, bite-sized content; disregarding the use of traditional digital publishers. Most traditional digital publishers will eventually have to adapt to this new landscape and act more like what I like to call a Detachable Digital Publisher (DDP). A detachable digital publisher can be described as a publisher who no longer focuses on driving inbound traffic back to its respective homepage. Rather, the DDP creates and/or curates content, using internal and external tools to distribute that content across various platforms and channels to the right people in a financially responsible fashion. 

Step 2: Implement the ‘Micropublisher’ Approach

Brands need to think like publishers. A brand that understands the importance of developing long term relationships with consumers also recognizes the ability to do so by providing said audience with a real value proposition when dealing with relevant, valuable, and original content. These brands not only have the right resources to create content, but also have the necessary budgets to invest in content distribution. Additionally, another new type of player in the media industry is the micropublisher, who are communicating with micro-clusters, thus enabling marketers to work with micro budgets. These micropublishers can be bloggers, gate keepers, or any other influencer type.

Step 3: Create New Content Formats 

Content format is another facet that has undergone transformation in recent times. Visualization and snackable content are key components in regard to content format renewal. Visualization requests more videos and bigger picture; ultimately increasing sharable content. While snackable content handles smart-target/small-content capsules intended for users, allowing them to “snack and share” content.

Step 4: Create New Production Frames 

Prosumers allows an audience the ability to both produce and consume content in real time, permitting changes in the industry’s balance. Although, UGC is no longer an asset, our consuming decisions continue to be impacted on a day to day basis.

Step 5: Create New Distribution Channels

Users admit media companies and brands the opportunity to provide them with content via permission based content consumption. However, consent may be granted only after a short permission process which includes:

  1. a user becoming friends with targeted brand/media
  2. a user following brand/media on a social platform
  3. a user subscribing to brand/media blog and/or site
  4. a user installing brand/media mobile application

Content is indeed the king. But the king has a new outfit and the kingdom has new rules.