If you were to pick up a thesaurus right now and flip to the word “media,” you’d find several synonyms. “News,” “publishing” and “communications” might be among them. Maybe “advertising” and “broadcasting,” as well. But I can tell you one word you definitely wouldn’t find on the list, and that’s “boring.”
Media trends change rapidly and constantly over time, and while one media outlet may reign supreme today, there’s no telling what new channel will arise to usurp its position tomorrow (anybody else feel like we’re watching an episode of Game of Thrones?). Unfortunately, the world of media doesn’t feature as many epic battles or dragons as that of The Seven Kingdoms, but both realms exhibit similar volatility—and that’s what makes them so entertaining! If the media world were stagnant, anyone could navigate through it with ease, and media planning would be a clean, cookie-cutter production. Part of the fun is in the challenge that goes along with predicting how media channels morph and evolve over time.
In the early stages of media as we know it, the printing press was king. Newspapers and magazines sat atop a throne of relevance and power with an ultimate media-monopoly (mostly because there wasn’t any competition to speak of). Then radio came along, changing up the media world forever by introducing a sense of immediacy that had been previously unattainable with printed text. Broadcast media expanded further through the advent of the television, which added visuals into the mix, making it the top-dog media channel of them all… at least for a while. Today we witness the media tides turning yet again as the internet accumulates massive amounts of power, especially among young people. Devices like tablets and smartphones are poised to play increasingly important roles in the media communication process as time goes on, and when the dust settles, we could find that TV’s mighty reign has come to an end.
Who knows what the next great media power-player will be? Maybe the development of new wearable technology like the Smartwatch and Google Glass will spur a media revolution, or perhaps there’s another tech innovation on the horizon that will prove even more groundbreaking. The only certainty is that today’s most powerful media channels will need to adapt to a world of new technology, consumer preferences and competitors in order to stay relevant. In the ever-changing world of media, there’s no time for boredom because keeping up with present trends is a full-time job. As a matter of fact, I need to get back to work—hopefully things didn’t change too much while I was gone!