In our last Trends report, Entering the Age of Experience, we noted that our industry is being moved forward by an endless appetite for content.

This appetite is not just driving innovation but also generating demand for more robust infrastructure and integrated digital systems. As a result of this transformation, industry players have gained a better understanding of and greater control over digital fundamentals. In turn, there’s now an awareness that the User Experience has become the leading factor in content creation and distribution.

The User Experience, i.e., how individuals perceive, respond to and interact with the content they consume, is what’s driving the ever growing connection and interdependence between content and technology.

At mid-year, the media environment remains volatile and many indicators confirm this interdependence. Instant messaging services are engaged in a rapid growth trajectory and could be the start of a new era of so-called “conversational” platforms that create a direct path to discoverability. Other innovations are entering their hype cycles, bringing in their wake major investments and huge hopes. VR and AR are now being touted as much more than just new features for viewer enjoyment, but as entirely new media—the next major disruptors. As well, technological advances allow us to envision monetization methods that leverage the full potential of digital distribution. One way would be through flexible pricing based on consumer demand and interest.

The range of possibilities, market fluidity and relentless pressures to stay ahead will be very challenging for content creators, producers and distributors—especially in deciphering ways that the User Experience can be optimized in terms of reach and discoverability. Most important will be the question of alignment with the high expectations of the new generation of empowered consumers.

Six major media trends

This update to Entering the Age of Experience focuses on the following trends:

  • Bots as new conversational interfaces that facilitate content discovery and access;
  • The growing thirst for online video that places increasing pressure on the telecommunications industry as well as on internet service providers;
  • The route from virtual reality’s market launch to mass adoption;
  • The relationship between content and media consumption among younger generations (the so-called “digital natives”);
  • New digital distribution revenue models that allow prices to adjust to supply and demand;
  • Government responses to the growing influence of media giants.