I think the answer comes down to one word “speed”! What exactly do I mean by that… well a lot of things. To start off with look at the speed at which new ventures from traditional media companies get off the ground versus those from new media.
There has been a lot of blog posts and news articles lately about the music industry and how it relates to this transition. I believe there is a lot of truth in this. Many of the old media companies don’t understand that their core group of influencers and purchasers have changed their perception of how they should be able to access media. These new consumers go by many titles I prefer to call them the “Gratification Generation”. These are consumers and individuals that grew up in an age where change is instantaneous. If they want to eat they pop something in the microwave and 2 minutes later its there. They want to watch a movie they get it “On Demand”, or “Stream” it from the internet. They need to research something for school, they don’t spend hours looking through the card catalog at the library, they go to google or wikipedia and in (.03 seconds) they have 1-10 of 4,526,000 results speaking to the topic they are researching.
These consumers live in an age of Instant Gratification, they grew up with it and they expect nothing less. This generation of perception changers demand that you meet with them on their turf not yours. You want to interact with them they expect you to actually listen to what they have to say and take it into account. They will become avid followers almost to the point of cultism if they find a cause, product or website that they feel meets their needs and wants.
The media companies that are becoming the “New Media” are the companies who are “quickly” realizing that things have changed. They not only react to the changing tides in the market speedily, but they PROACTIVELY look to spot those trends and anticipate them. They are companies like Apple which took itself from a company on the brink of disappearing into a company that is the envy of many. They became the standard which digital content is distributed. They became the brand for Music downloads. No one asks hey man did you bring your MP3 Player they ask did you bring your Ipod.
I used two glaring examples of traditional vs digital media. I know many people would have used youtube vs viacom or NBC or something. But I truly believe companies like Facebook are not a “social network” they are truly the face of a New Generation of Media companies that understand things have changed.
What’s your opinion?