The Media World is Flat

All Thomas Friedman references aside, the marketing landscape is a constant evolution of capabilities, trends, value props and sometimes kitschy ideas all vying for “our” attention. As these changes cycle through more frequently, media publishers and partners are continuing to re-invent themselves, salvaging what was working and adapting to the new media ecosystem. Typically this leads to further fragmentation of the media world. For those who can’t adapt the losses can be immense, even affecting entire media channels. For example, many of us can recall Prints fall from grace and the rise of Digital in the earlier part of the decade, though, it’s worth a mention that the decline in total number of print firms began back in the early 2000’s and before. Looking forward, it’s these type of shifts that also has marketer’s eyes on OTT devices (over the top) monitoring how TV and Digital are going to evolve together.

The more recent market disruptions have been largely connected to the adoption of mobile devices. In coordination with “the internet of things” we’re beginning to see, for the first time in modern marketing history, a defragmentation of opportunities which will undoubtedly continue to impact the industry. One such new utilization that caught our eye here at Just Media was Link in New York City.

LinkNYC salvaged old pay phones space in the city’s five boroughs and replaced it with a modern console. They’re driving adoption by offering free USB charging, Wifi, Phone calls via a Vonage app and other services. This investment and subsequent revenue is paid for by, you guessed it, advertising on the outside of the console. Though Link may or may not go beyond its beta stage; it opens the door to many more ideas to continue connecting channels as we’re now tying our mobile device, emails, and out of home (OOH) together into one cohesive activation. Does this personalize the OOH channel to offer relevant messaging to an individual or cohort around the screen? Is this inventory going to be adopted and biddable at scale? How does this affect user privacy? I can only imagine the secrets that will be told by “relevant” messaging, being broadcasted, what was a private search on a mobile device to the public.

If this becomes an industry trend, other tech initiatives such as fingerprinting or super cookies are going to hold significantly more value in tying together multiple media channels. Thus continuing the defragmentation of the industry in pursuit of more personalized communication between brands and people. In short, this may be a big step toward ending the cycle of fragmentation and the beginning of a cohesive media world.

Jonathan Monroe
Just Media, Inc.

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