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Crystal or Disco Ball: What Does the Future Hold for Media?

I was recently asked what I thought the future holds for media and/or publishing. Good question, right? Wouldn’t we all want a crystal ball? Of course. [But, I think it would be more fun to have a disco ball instead. Who couldn’t use a shiny, fun way to look at the future?]

So, my initial response is that the fate of publishing in still undetermined. Upon the rise of digital, folks jumped on the bandwagon and declared print media as dead. Well, guess what? I don’t think print media will ever be dead. What I do think will happen (and is happening now) is that media properties will continue to become brands. Not a magazine, not a website, not an app. But, an experience, an influence, and a community. The media will continue to be accessible in many channels, allowing access at any time, any day. Brands and marketers will continue to align with these brand experiences to speak directly to the user, consumer, or decision maker. One thing I know for sure… publishers will need to remain focused on the content & experience and deliver value, not just another cool distribution channel. Brands that fail to do so, do so at their peril.

By answering this, it made me question what others had to say about the “now” and the future of media. Read other articles, hear what others had to say, and get their take on the matter.

Five Predictions for the Future of Print Advertising (Forbes Communications Council)
“Print advertising is naturally seeing a sharp decline due to the rise of digital. However, there are still channels where print not only makes sense, but can engage audiences more effectively due to its secure and intimate nature. And don’t underestimate the power of combining digital and print media.”

7 Predictions for the Future of Media (Business Insider)
“Those who are well informed and well prepared don’t see innovation as a threat; they see it as an opportunity.”

The Media of the Future (HuffPost)
“The media of the future is nimble, fit, and intimate. It has no respect for its elders. It doesn’t care how it was done before. There is a very real power in realizing this.”

What is the future of magazine media? (TheMediaBriefing)
“Magazines that survive long into the future – both in print and digital forms – are those which have something special. People are more acute than ever about sniffing out cloned content. Magazine content needs increasingly to be valuable and exclusive: what do you have that no one else does?”

Local Advertising and Marketing Trends to Watch in 2017 (BIA/Kelsey)
“Print will continue to evolve and maintain a large share of small businesses’ dollars by extending campaigns with digital media.”

The False Divide between Digital vs. Traditional Media (HuffPost)
“Old and new media not only will coexist but also will holistically complement each other.”

The media landscape is an ever evolving challenge ̶ and opportunity. Whether print or digital, the winners will be the ones who stay true to their brands while embracing innovation through their transformation.

The media landscape is our proverbial dance floor. The music is playing. Get your dancing shoes on.

Who’s ready?