What Does It Mean for the Media Industry to Innovate?

It is with excitement that we present you this seventh Trends report drafted by the Canada Media Fund’s Industry & Market Trends team.

Throughout the year, we are busy examining, analyzing and anticipating the transformations that could impact the audiovisual industry. This report is therefore the result of our most interesting discoveries regarding technology and innovation, consumption habits, evolving business models and the competitive environment. The report deals with innovation, that all-inclusive term that yet no longer means anything.

What we do know, however, is that we are actively engaged in the race for innovation. We still do not know why, yet we feel that we need to innovate. Otherwise, we risk disappearing or becoming irrelevant. We do not always know how to go about it and balk at the very idea of having to put everything back into question. Why? Because innovation is often scary. It implies what economist Schumpeter called creative destruction, i.e., a form of destruction that dismantles the established order to make way for novelties that exert a hypnotic charm. However, these novelties are not necessarily inventions. Most of the time, they take on the form of new combinations of ideas, knowledge or resources (Schumpeter, 1934).

Sometimes, an industry’s transformations lead to combinations that would have seemed improbable—if not impossible—in the absence of upheavals. Competing companies create new alliances, the traditional uses of certain technologies are reinvented, humanity and human creativity themselves are redefined. When innovation is applied to the media industry, it effectively concerns less the advent of a new gadget than it does these new combinations that give rise to innovative processes or positions. In our industry, innovation can be found in how to create, market or reposition a product or service or yet in how a company’s values evolve (Storsul and Krumsvik, 2013).

My wish is that the 2019 Trends report inspires you to undertake new collaborations and new alliances and that it contributes to opening up the door to fantastic opportunities.

Enjoy reading our report!

Catherine Mathys,
Director, Industry and Market Trends, Canada Media Fund

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