The audience is changing. On this there is total agreement. Everything else is a debate. Traditional platforms are waning, digital ascending, says conventional wisdom. But new platforms are evolving requiring people to constantly adapt or return to tried and true media consumption. The enduring question for media people is where should the investment go.
Economic theory offers that consumers are, after all, quite rational. Absorbing information they deem necessary choices are made. That information comes from a lot of sources or, most often, just a few. Restricting choices doesn’t necessarily nudge them along, disruptive opportunities quickly appear.
Consolidation is an appealing business strategy. All those economies of scale bring joy to investor’s hearts, wherever that might be. After the digital dividend brought a decade of experimentation and fragmentation, media organizations are pulling back to leading brands. Market shares might be rising but consumers are still going digital, looking and listening for something new. It’s a quandary.