How content might redesign the media industry’s business model
Once upon a time, there were newspapers, radio, television, and movie theaters: well-defined platforms through which content was easily spread and consumed. Distribution and its related issues were not a concern. Then the Internet stepped into this tidy situation, followed by mobile devices, along with the creation of apps that also started working as new kind of platforms. From this point forward, all content, from TV shows to commercials, from music to news, began floating in the complexity of the intricate digital media landscape.
Companies have to deal with hundreds of different platforms, the dominant culture of contents consumed for free, users whose preferences change often, and, last but not least, the giants of Facebook and Google, through which pass all content produced on the web. The question is raised: how can media industries still monetize the content they produce?
With this question in mind, I met with Thomas Jorin, of the Strategy & Innovation department at Havas 18, a research hub of Havas, a French global communication group that provides strategies and solutions to connect companies with their customers. Havas works with large media and entertainment companies around the world such as Walt Disney and Universal Music, that explains why Thomas at Havas 18 is so much involved in studying the ongoing processes around how contents are produced, shared, consumed and monetized.
Working in his LA-based office, Thomas is in charge of conducting research in collaboration with the academic world —most often, the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles— in order to scout innovative business models that might be applied to Havas’ clients.
As soon as we started our conversation, he immediately highlighted the biggest issue that the media industry currently struggles with :“The challenging thing is to change your business model because of your content.” Instead, companies are still replicating the same business model for every type of content and platform they handle: for the majority of them, the only thing changing is the type of screen. Thomas stated that, for example, many advertising companies replicate the same type of ad used on TV even on totally new types of platform such as the influencers.