On Episode 19 of The Content & Media Matters Podcast we were joined by Alan McLennan, the Founder and Global Head of M&E, Industry Strategy and Partnership at the PADEM Media Group. He talked us through his fascinating career in the content and media space, as well as his experience of co-authoring a book. He also shared his perspectives on the state of the content and media industry as a whole and told us what he sees for the future of the sector. Read on to hear what he had to say.
We’ve unfortunately tipped into a marketplace that is now in television management. That is an inherently comfortable place for most networks and studios because it’s not what it was before. It used to be about the innovation of technology and the connection to the audience. Now it’s stepped back. Streaming television is an important aspect of building an audience. But it’s television. It’s what it always has been. Now it just so happens that you get a choice of what you want to watch, with attached advertising that matches your personality, your behaviour, your information etc, which is much more engaging than it used to be.
The old statement about 50% of my advertising goes in and 50% doesn’t isn’t true anymore, because we have these identifiable points now. That allows us to grow into lower social economic environments, and that’s really good. But there is a certain component of this that has a separation of classes. We’re starting to realise in the industry that subscription levels have pretty much levelled off, except in new markets where there’s new subscriber bases. As more countries around the world have enough disposable income to pay for our subscriptions, we’re expanding our markets. We’re able to offer up the second year, or even third year kind of programming on a fast basis.
What’s driving the industry globally is the ability to tap into the creators that are in this economy. When it comes to production, those creators are producing and providing some of the best programming and content that we’ve ever seen. Before, when you went to gatherings, parties, whatever, people would talk about news or politics. Now it’s ‘What series are you watching?’ That’s where the quality of our work comes in. The first run is for theatrical releases, then it’s aimed towards people who can afford a subscription based programme. We’ve taken a number of steps forward, but we’ve also taken some steps back when it comes to our audiences. By taking those steps back, it puts the industry in a more comfortable position with their business through advertising and audience reach – and that’s good – but where the opportunity comes is from new distribution platforms.
We’ve seen some things from the cable industries – or Comcast for example, who are talking about 10G. What about 5G? Didn’t that just come out? 5G is the fifth generation of distribution, not the technology. It’s the efficiency of that which is mind boggling. It’s 100 times faster and more powerful than 4G, so how powerful is 10G going to be? That’s going to require whole new infrastructures to support the capabilities it brings, which will need new types of distribution. Things like Edge Computers, cable plants, and providers will have to be built out. That is where we’re going.
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