The evolution of the media landscape

Have you noticed yourself progressively absorbing your media less and less from free-to-air TV or newspapers, and more on internet based services? The media landscape has taken its next step forward in evolution. Television station viewerships are dropping, they’re having to rapidly adapt to the current consumer market. Newspapers across the country are shutting down, becoming purely online based. Advertising agencies are having to look to new mediums to reach their audiences, they’re also having to tailor their strategies, selecting their niche and finding the platforms that those markets are currently consuming  to bring in an effective result. The way that we as consumers absorb media has changed dramatically as media and entertainment has become more accessible and on-demand.

No more free-to-air

In a recent evolution of all of this, streaming service, Stan, has just acquired the rights from Rugby Australia to broadcast live games – a privilege worth 100 million dollarydoos. This is big news. It’s the first time that a sporting body has favoured an online service over a traditional television broadcast, and for Murdoch, the first time that he’s lost the game. This is the first time an online streaming platform will have sole rights to a  live sporting event and plants the idea for the rest, an evolution of live events moving into the online paid space - something we’ve certainly seen more of in 2020, with concerts and conferences and all sorts going online. With live games making the move to streaming services, traditional media is sent into reevaluation mode. Traditional media is no longer a profitable space for advertisers, another huge loss to television broadcasters.

Movies on demand

Similarly, movie theatres and film production studios are also having to rethink the way they release films to the public. Traditionally, cinemas had exclusive access to films for the first 90 days, meaning that if you wanted to see a new release, you had to go to a theatre. Now, box office profits are being surpassed by the amount people are spending on their digital streaming services. Netflix has started producing their own full length films, now having the budget to offer their audience a comparable experience to that of major film studios. Studios are even starting to get the hint and are now starting to present their own streaming options. From this, people are forming the idea that there should no longer be a gap between a movie being released at the cinemas to being able to access it through rental or paid subscription service. Cinema theatres have had to reassess their business models and adapt to the new landscape of film media, offering experiences rather than exclusivity. Again, advertisers have lost another prime medium and are having to think about more native ways to promote their products and services. Inevitably, product placement will be a more profitable way to implant ideas and sell product.

Paper’s gone digital

An obvious victim of the changing media landscape has been newspapers. With everything going online and citizen journalism becoming a superpower, printers and publishing houses alike are losing prominence. What was once prime real estate for advertising can no longer promise  the same number of readers. 

What does this mean for advertising?

Through all of this, our marketing strategies have made the leap into digital spaces. To promote your business or brand we now need to think about a whole range of new platforms where your market is hanging out. Advertising through social media has become increasingly more accessible, it’s now only a few intuitive clicks to get your ad seen by the audience of your choosing. A full page ad in a newspaper used to cost you upwards of $1,500, only looked at for a day or two before the next day’s edition. Now, you can pay $25 to have your ad play across Facebook and Instagram and also choose exactly the types of people you want to see it – honing in on your audience and optimising your spend.

It’s clear that the way we consume media has evolved; the way we consume advertising has evolved too. In both cases, we as the consumer are expecting a higher standard. We are expecting to be entertained and engaged as soon as we decide that’s what we want. The bar has been raised for content and accessibility. In the move of live sports to online streaming services, what was once an event that took people to the pubs or a friends place with Foxtel, is now very easily available in every living room. That’s not to say that people won’t still go out for a different  experience, but it needs to be worth getting off the couch for. 

The on-demand realm has meant that more money is being put into fast media, the quality of your (new) favourite TV shows (can we still call them that?) is dramatically higher. It will be interesting to observe how traditional media responds to this change, will they disappear forever or will they become something totally different? Either way, as marketing agents and small business owners, we need to be on the ball, watching the trends and making sure we’re ready to connect with the right people at the right time, in a way that is engaging and memorable. The message and intent haven’t changed, but the delivery has.