I’ve long been interested in the impact of digital technologies on the media industry. While all industries are subject to the forces of creative destruction, media is one of the most affected. Everything seems to be changing at once, from the way content is produced and delivered, to the sources of revenue and profits. It seems as if, - to borrow Marc Andreessen’s words - digital technologies are eating the media world.
Studying such dramatic changes helps me better appreciate the transitions our economy is going through. Moreover, unlike other industries which I would mostly follow from afar, media is one that I can actually discuss based on personal experiences. From print newspapers and websites, to live TV and recorded programs, I’m an everyday consumer of media, spending, like many of us, a considerable part of my day on its various offerings. I’m also a (very minor) content producer, given the weekly blogs I’ve been posting since 2005 and my 2-year guest columnist affiliation with the WSJ’s CIO Journal . In addition, I’ve been a member of the advisory board of USC’s Annenberg Innovation Lab (AIL) since it was founded in 2010 to study the impact of technology and cultural changes on the media industries.
Within media, I’ve been particularly interested in the evolution of television. The future of TV is being widely discussed in articles and workshops. Once upon a time, the term television generally referred to TV sets, the TV programs we watched on those sets, and the TV networks that broadcast those programs to our sets. But, over the past few decades, and especially in the past 5 - 10 years, it’s much less clear what we now mean by the TV industry, let alone what it will encompass by 2025. The TV industry is being massively restructured as its companies keep searching for viable business models.