After a decade and more of digital disruption, during which the entertainment and media landscape has struggled constantly to keep pace with advancing consumer expectations, it’s increasingly evident that there is no significant divide between digital and traditional media in eyes of consumers. Instead of a divided landscape, what we have is a fluid and multifaceted ecosystem – one where new digital offerings have created a bigger, more diverse content universe, and where digital has accelerated delivery across platforms.
Amid the resulting proliferation of content and access options, what’s clear is that consumers want more flexibility and freedom – for which read “choice” – in when and how they consume. They don’t want schedules – they want it on-demand. It’s also increasingly clear that they want it mobile too. And they’re consistently demonstrating that they will migrate to those offerings that combine an outstanding user experience – attractive content assortment, great discovery, social community – with an intuitive interface offering increased personalisation and access across devices. Furthermore, consumers are engaging readily with content experiences that they can’t get easily elsewhere: hence the enduring appeal of shared, real-life experiences like cinema, live concerts, and sporting events – all of which have not just survived the growth of digital and social media, but have been reenergised by it.
For entertainment and media companies operating in this environment, what matters now is the ability to combine content with a user experience that is differentiated and compelling on the consumer’s platform of choice.
Today's entertainment and media companies need to do three things to succeed:
These imperatives are increasingly evident across the industry, as it enters the age of ‘contextual awareness’ through rich consumer data – including location and behavioural propensities. In advertising, we’re seeing a blurring of the traditional boundary with content, and major steps forward in addressability, programmability and audience metrics that measure depth of engagement. In content, we’re seeing the ongoing rise of over-the-top (OTT) offerings widen consumer choice still further, and growing use of data analytics to deliver more relevant experiences. And industry-wide, we’re seeing ongoing jockeying for position in readiness for opportunities ranging from the connected home to the expanding middle classes in emerging markets.
Put simply, today’s entertainment and media industry is about consumer choice, innovation and experience, irrespective of whether delivery is digital or non-digital. Mastering these three elements is now critical to commercial success – and to sustaining future growth.
It’s time to embrace the fact that mastering the user experience is critical to success in this industry.