Trends Report 2015 - Mid-Year Update

To this day, the transition to digital has gained traction by optimizing services, rationalizing processes, introducing greater organizational efficiencies and cutting back on middlemen.

But, as we noted in our previous Key Trends report, The Big Blur Challenge, this has also led to the advent of certain paradoxes.

There is unprecedented choice, but users’ attention span has shortened. Digital distribution provides more access to international markets but has a major impact on traditional rights management, which in turn strikes at the heart of local audiovisual industry business models.

We also continue to witness a narrowing of cultural preferences as major US franchises (mostly from television) influence global audience standards.

Finally, digital technology has lowered barriers to new forms of competition, particularly user-generated content (UGC), which has contributed to democratize media. But on the other hand, larger industry players are continuing to consolidate and seeking to secure global monopoly positions.

Six themes are explored in this document:

  1. “Filter bubbles” and the growing dependence on algorithm-based recommendations from larger dominant platforms;
  2. Content globalization and the growing integration of digital markets;
  3. New content formats spurred by changes in consumer habits and behaviour;
  4. Media divergence: whether next-generation audiences will someday revert to “traditional” consumption patterns remains uncertain;
  5. The advent of “digital marketplaces” for film and TV rights;
  6. The rise of creative alliances and new competitors to counterbalance the web giants’ market power.

Methodology

The Canada Media Fund does not conduct primary research, but has a dedicated Industry and Market Trends team that scans dozens of news articles, analyses and research reports on a daily basis. We focus mainly on the launch of new services, devices and apps, emerging trends and market shifts as well as majors announcements made during important market events and festivals (MIP, SXSW, CES, etc).  

In parallel, we consult a list of established and credible datasets such as the ones provided by the CRTC, the Media Technology Monitor, comScore, Deloitte, Nielsen, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Pew Research Center, and IDATE. Through these, we collect regularly updated statistical data related to media consumption, global content markets and screen-based industries.

Finally, the information and data is analyzed and organized using the same framework that has guided every Trends Report. We focus on six key transformational trends which – in turn - correspond to the six chapters included in each report. Through this framework, we hope to shed light on evolving phenomena and analyze the impacts of these changes on the television and digital media sectors.

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