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Content is still king. But the kingdom is transforming. 

Published: April 8, 2019

Whenever there’s a technology revolution, you can see the frenzy to carve out a differentiating space of value within the stream of innovation. Whether it was the new frontier of air travel, television, or the Internet, the short-sighted flock to the technology, but those with the long-term view move quickly toward the white space of what those technologies deliver and enable. 

When it comes to the tech evolution in the media and entertainment industry, the long-term winners have been those who understood early on that regardless of the technology vehicle, the ability to deliver compelling, unique, branded content would solidify their place in the market. 

Media and Entertainment (M&E) companies look to control every aspect of the customer relationship, propelling them to reach across geographies and platforms to not only deliver high-value content but to extract the maximum value out of each piece of content they create.  Millennials are redefining the idea of “unique” content in new and unprecedented ways. 

Content is everywhere. Content is still king. 

The ecosystem in which that content is being created, shared and distributed, however, has been greatly disrupted. The complexity of content distribution models has forced many companies to maintain multiple capital-intensive distribution systems while trying to address new platform and consumption models. And they’re facing new competition at every turn. To achieve this goal, M&E must focus on extracting cost out of the business to be more agile—migrate away from traditional heavy-CapEx broadcast and distribution investments to new technologies and flexible, scalable distribution platforms. 

Since they are also shifting investments to compelling content creation and building a brand that transcends platforms and consumption models, the shift to an OpEx model will give them the freedom to experiment with new technologies and markets such as 5G, AR/VR, gaming, etc., so their content and brand will continue to proliferate in these new areas of consumption. Additionally, AI and first-party data will help M&E companies influence new products, increase the value of advertising and extend conversational commerce into the ecosystem.

As the industry and its content transforms, the lines are blurring between services, platforms, content and offerings. It’s a reflection of the ubiquity of connectivity along with the fluid nature of the consumption model. New business models will emerge as M&E companies continue to look for varied and diversified revenue streams, expand across platforms, and leverage new capabilities—all while building more intimate relationships with its consumers and curating exceptional content.

What do these transformations in the content “kingdom” look like? 

  • Integrated experiences. Consistent experience across different consumption models with seamless approaches to connecting consumption, advertising and potential transactions into a branded integrated experience.

  • Platforms and partnerships. M&E companies will need to focus on platform extension to address all of the different modes of consumption, while creating partnerships that shift the cost toward a XaaS model. 

  • Real-time content. Sports and news will be highly sought after for the real-time appeal and the fanatical base.  Sport betting will play an important role in new products and services. 

  • Product advertisers. Advertisers are figuring out creative ways to reach and interact with their audiences directly – without the need for traditional media advertising, putting pressure on ad revenue already suffering due to shrinking traditional subscriber bases. 

  • Artificial intelligence. AI will improve the experience by influencing new products, and economic models, geared towards content creation, subscriber-based revenue, advertising value and conversational commerce. 

  • New revenue opportunities. Technologies like AR/VR, 4K video, 5G, autonomous vehicles, and wearables will continue to develop and mature, providing new avenues for product development and expansion in to adjacent markets. The focus will be to continue to create high-quality content and compelling experiences to maximize value and build loyalty.  

That’s a powerful picture. But it’s going to mean overhauling operational models and building a leaner, more agile infrastructure. It will require rearchitecting networks, embracing virtualization, leveraging brand awareness tools that expand market reach, and enabling end-to-end, immersive experiences across an ecosystem of content delivery touch points. 

Are you ready? 

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