Heading into the new year, 2013 holds the promise of a return to optimism. I think we will see some dynamic shifts in content development and distribution as the seeds of media fragmentation continue to be sowed. Entertainment companies (and advertisers) will finally have to address the thorny issues that the publishing, music and photography businesses have been grappling with for a decade: Where do we play, how do we play, and does it make fiscal sense? If the economy grows, as many expect it will, the answers to these questions will be met with innovation and dynamism that could have a lasting effect.
My prediction for the year’s biggest disruption in the a media world is the much-discussed, but yet-to-be realized demise of big budget broadcast TV. After a full decade of media fragmentation, the numbers just aren’t there to sustain this kind of artist-driven big-budget programming. This will likely lead to two things that will have a big impact. First, broadcast TV will continue to look even more like non-subscriber cable networks (think reality TV, sports and sensational news) than the premium cable networks where we currently go to watch “Homeland,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and “Breaking Bad.” Second, to get this kind of programming made and distributed, Hollywood will increasingly go directly to advertisers for funding and will rely more and more on digital platforms for distribution.
With big change comes big opportunities. My new year’s resolution is to have the foresight and courage to take advantage of them.