In a recently published book by Bob Garfield, “The Chaos Scenario,” he discusses the current digital revolution and how the mass media and marketing world as we know it is being replaced. Garfield interestingly notes that this revolution is not unlike the revolutions throughout history; complete with change, restructuring, and victims… the victims in this scenario, however, are traditional media entities like newspapers, radio, and television.
These media staples that have defined our communication and connection with one another and the rest of the world for over 100 years are in a downward spiral, unlikely to resurface thanks to the Internet and mobile accessibility. Now that people can read their news online, watch TV without worrying about network schedules, and carry their music wherever they go, these outlets are becoming obsolete. Garfield attributes this traditional media downfall to three factors:
- Audience shrinkage with consequent advertiser defection
- Obsolete methods and unsustainable costs of distribution
- Competition from every computer user in the whole wide world
What I found particularly interesting is the concept that TV shows, newspaper articles, and songs are now simply “content.” This content can be distributed as anything nowadays through a whole host of outlets, received on a variety of technologies from Blackberries and iPhones to Kindles and TweetDeck. An article is not just an article anymore, but a Tweet, blogpost, and podcast as well.
The downfall of these traditional media outlets will encourage a more creative approach to marketing and advertising as both new media adapts to marketing and marketing adapts to new media. Especially as much of the new media is free, this presents an interesting dilema for advertisers. But, as Garfield points out, this revolution is not to be seen as a set back of any sorts, but an advance into the future of media and marketing.
For more on this, check out Bob Garfield’s ‘Chaos Scenario’ on NPR.