You Say You Want a Revolution
I recently had a discussion with a friend in the radio industry. Apparently when this person (in their early twenties) started their job at the station, a sibling questioned the career choice by saying something along the lines of, "what are you going to do when there is no more radio?" Interesting how people think. Interesting that someone so young could see the changes in mass media (whether correct or not). This made me think about how I use media.
Flashback 20 months - I got an Xbox360 and setup Netflix streaming on my TV. If you don't how this works, basically it means you can turn on your Xbox game system and simply pick a movie or TV show to watch whenever you want. No wait. No commercials. No discs. Granted, it's not always brand new programming, it is really good selection. I probably watch 60% less live TV since setting this service up. During this time, I've heard many friends praise their DVRs and Tivos... No commercials, those are something you fast-forward through.
Flashback 30 months - This is approximately the last time I actually used a printed telephone book. The Internet at my house was down and I needed to call the cable company. I hadn't yet made the jump to a smartphone, so the phonebook was really my only option to find that number. It's not what I would do today.
Flashback ten years - I, a news junkie, dropped my daily newspaper subscription because reading online was much easier, faster, the news was more up to date, and I didn’t end up with a stack of dead trees in the corner.
Back to today - We are in the middle of yet-to-be-named media revolution. Reaching an audience with advertising and marketing is not as easy as it used to be. Smartphones are standard. Social Media is part of everyday life. Ipods rule music. On-demand internet news and entertainment have drastically reduced our reliance on print and broadcast. The way we use TVs, computers and phones today is radically differently than ten, five, even two years ago.
At the companies I work for, for many years, the biggest struggle has been getting businesses who are often rooted in traditional media to accept these changes and try new things. Where there used to be Newspaper, Magazine, TV, Radio and Phonebooks, there is now Newspaper (print and online), Magazine (print and online), TV (broadcast, cable, satellite and streaming), Radio (broadcast, satellite and streaming), Phonebooks (print and online), Social Media, Search Engines, Corporate Websites, Content Websites, Online Directories, Mobile Phone Apps on multiple platforms, iPods, YouTube, etc. That doesn’t mean traditional media is no longer viable, it just means the audience is not as large or as focused as it used to be.
Often we hear "I don't know if the advertising I do works, I just do it". That attitude isn't going to work much longer. Audiences are moving, and the businesses that move with them will be more successful than the ones who are complacent. Likewise, agencies and designers have to be innovative, technology-aware, cautious of fads, and extremely agile... not just creative. Right now is about experimenting, developing new standards, adapting quickly, and embracing change. The Apple-Facebook-Google-Microsoft war is just getting started.
I think it's appropriate that out first new blog sets the tone for what we know - Revolutions are violent, but the results can mean a better world. And also what we believe - There’s a new way to do things… So let’s revolt.