The ftm 2017 Greatest Hits
Disruption has seized us all. Its grasp through this century has offered, at once, new thinking and an uncertain odyssey. But disruption through 2017 has been laid bare by consequences. Media organizations look for safety in scale. Fake news begets fake reality. Technology overwhelms trust. The 2017 ftm Greatest Hits collection recalls the effects.
The world changes. Some are OK with this, others not so much. Corporate media strategies, too, adapt to the times, some more reluctantly than others. The quest for scale endures. It doesn’t always fix the problem. A toxic brand has few options.
If disruption is the key to success, these are the best of times. Nothing is as it was a year ago, even five minutes ago. Blame social media. Blame the web. Blame the moon. But all that lovely disruption comes at a price. No worries: inflation will reduce the risk.
Transitional media environments create considerable froth among top executives. The hardest-charging eventually want to “seek new opportunities” or are asked. Stability is a warm-fuzzy memory as audiences, platforms and owners change. Growth - however possible - is still the priority. Getting there is the journey, not the destination.
Strong news brands, by and large, have discovered two things recently. Number one is the fragility, to be generous, of advertising revenues, digital and otherwise. Second and just as important is the rise of subscription revenue for big news brands like the New York Times and the Guardian. In addition, though most significantly in the US market, is the Trump Effect, passionate foes and fans of US president Donald Trump are paying to see what they want to see.
Suggestions that traditional news media died in 2016 as “post-truth” reality defined news - online and elsewhere - widely misses the mark. Disruption certainly has a place in civil society but not the only place. The ethos of journalism is easily dismissed but not, completely, forgotten. It’s just the hacks who send out press releases, whether touting a new experience for over-stimulated Millennials or sowing confusion among those “low-information” voters.
The nexus between privacy concerns and digital domains is fraught with anxieties. Lawmakers everywhere are staking claims to this new territory seeking to protect constituent interests. While market forces appear adrift, the digital captains are steering through clear water.
Getting money from the web is no longer about simply selling ads. There’s branded content, merchandising, talent management, all kinds of goodies. Multiple revenue streams excite investors, traditional ad money so last century. The quest for scale, however, is eternal.
A sharp eye is not needed to see a strong relationship between new media growth and repressed news environments. Or is it fragmented societies in anxious times seeking out information silos? Or is it opportunistic propagandists looking to tear apart civil societies? All of this, certainly, and there’s more to come. Some of it could actually be quite good.
An article of faith among adherents to democratic principles is the significance of an independent public broadcasting service. Even commercial competitors, broadcasting and otherwise, accept, however tepidly, that public broadcasters lift the media market creatively and economically. None of that matters to the recently risen illiberal dictators and oligarchs. The consequence has unleashed a return to State broadcasting, easier on the populist ears and eyes.
With digital transition firmly taking hold of the fertile imagination, attention spans notwithstanding, firm data is ground control. More data should yield greater understanding. Indeed, it does. But that depends on what, exactly, folks want to understand. After that, everything is just as complex as it was last week.
ftm Greatest Hits 2016
ftm Greatest Hits 2015
ftm Greatest Hits 2014
ftm Greatest Hits 2013
ftm Greatest Hits 2012
ftm Greatest Hits 2011
ftm Greatest Hits 2010
ftm Greatest Hits 2009
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