The nature of media content changes as structures adapt to changes in consumer behavior.
#3071 Created 01/16/2012 Updated 10/27/2016
The nature of media content is changing. News content is transitioning from publications to streams, entertainment content is morphing around social media, and advertising is being atomized directly into consumers' personal, professional, and public affairs.
structure: Traditional media objects were custom-produced as finished products, and distributed through mass channels to mass audiences. Contemporary media objects are accumulated as individually-produced bits, which are aggregated in streams consumed by audiences often assembled in social media contexts. Streams are sometimes periodically summarized. Modern media bits are often fragments of conversations, or disembodied responses to other media bits.
The form of content is changing. The 'story' is deprecated to an end-of-the-sequence summary, coming after a substantial stream of tweets, posts, updates, comments, and corrections. The 'newscast' now includes previously-tweeted, posted and distributed videos and texts. The "news" echos through search-driven summaries of original, aggregated, re-aggregated, distorted, invented, and filtered news atoms. Consumers consume "news" as a by-product of their interactions across multiple platforms, services, and devices.
behavior: User-generated content is rising, and the share of consumer time spent interacting with user-generated content is increasing. Consumers are generating "profiles" of themselves by their actions in cyberspace: "sharing" and "liking" actions become profile points; affiliations with persons, products, institutions, positions and causes become profile points; the textual content of their postings and interactions become profile points; and browsing history, tweets, and the context of email become profile points.)
economics: The way that content is produced and consumed is changing. The 'means of production' is shifting from centralized, mass-media facilities to distributed, independent individuals and groups. (20151229 Uh, well, not so fast here). The 'method of production' is shifting from bucket-and-dump pattern of mass media to the interactive, socially-woven streams.
The creation and reproduction of content have been the historic drivers of media value, and that value was based organized around the principle of scarcity. Limiting and controlling the distribution of media objects -- records, tapes, CDs, DVDs, prints, publications, transmissions -- created the object or consumption value. New media organizes value around the experience of communications, with the moment of media "sharing" assuming a value role.
Traditional media content is currently often produced to provoke interaction and response in social media contexts, creating marketing value through socially-linked exposures, such as sharing, liking, linking, and recommending.
How does the transition to news streams change the way the local news is reported?
Who are the winners and losers among interest groups?
How does the substance of news coverage change?
How does user-generated news fulfill the watchdog role?
Users are profiled by their behavior. Cumulative behavior across all surfing activity creates personna constructs that differ in substantial ways from the real person. Or do they?
"Sharing" and "liking" create trackable relationships between individuals and commercial products and services, opinions, causes, political structures, etc.
(Trend: nameplate to disembodied, mass media to atomized, infrastructure to nonfrastructure, services become games).