Friday, September 23, 2011

The Big Three?

My enemy's enemy?

With Facebook's recent announcements, I will repeat my armchair opinion that the three companies fighting it out for dominance in the new media (we need a better term for it because I'm not talking about what is stereotypically thought of as "new media" but rather the new world of media consumption we are beginning to see) world are Apple, Facebook and Google.  They are profiting primarily by either taking (or will be taking someday soon) a piece of media sales within their platforms or by selling user information, usually to advertisers.  Facebook looks like it will be unique in that it has no commitment to hardware, unlike Apple or Google (depending on what they do with their Motorola assets).  This is going to be a very interesting fight.

If Facebook can leverage their digital scrapbook concept later into an intelligently curated stream, they will be a very formidable force.  They do have the advantage of being somewhat more focused than the other two on this particular area.  They seem to be on the forefront now of breaking down the concept of what media is, how it is delivered and how to make money from it.  No doubt, they will be busy analyzing user behavior, perfecting algorithms that are predictive and pull in content from a much wider range of sources.  The big question with the Facebook model is whether people are going to be willing to do all of their media consumption in public.

As I've said before, I believe the future of media consumption is going to become smaller chunks, provided via algorithms that not only find the content but also reconstruct it in a way that provides a meaningful narrative to the viewer, consumed more or less constantly.  We will consume more media than ever.  However,  less and less of it will be what we consider now to be professionally produced.  Yes, the higher-level content will still exist, there may just be less of it. Unfortunately, there will be less of the low to mid-level content that provides so much employment for my friends.

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