Matt co-founded TrendKite in 2012 and oversees all aspects of the organization’s product strategy and development.
Media, and our relationship with it, will change slowly and surely, and the only fact of which we can be certain is the simple fact that it will change.
20 years from now, media monitoring will be vastly different from the ways that we know it now. People will consume media in ways that do not yet exist – the interactions between technological advancements and various forms of media will continue to fuel rapid developments, evolving both the types of content that we consume and the ways that we interact with that content. Looking at the evolution of content monitoring habits in the recent past, as well as current and emerging trends in media production and consumption, we’ve made some predictions about the future of media monitoring.
In 20 years, most everyone will be immersed in their own personal cloud. Home entertainment centers, personal computers, and mobile devices will not be separate sources of different media channels, but will all exist as interconnected parts of personal networks.
Mobile computing is only just beginning to advance beyond the smartphone and the tablet, and always-on devices will provide constant access to all of our media channels. New gadgets such as the Google Glass device are already providing us with a glimpse of the future potential that mobile computing offers.
Dramatically increased immersion and accessibility will be brought about by the introduction of new interfaces that allow us to connect to our personal networks from places, and in ways, that we do not currently recognize as feasible options. For example, Google’s work on self-driving vehicles is part of the company’s efforts to increase the amount of time we spend online. In 20 years, interfaces will have replaced steering wheels, and the automated commute to work will be a time during which we use a novel interface to access our personal cloud.
Social media has changed the way that we interact with media. Previously, content was created, hosted, and presented in pre-packaged formats. The emergence of social media has evolved content from a static presentation to an ongoing, constantly developing, online conversation. Continuing this trend, content consumption in the future will feel much more like a two-way conversation, and much less like a canned product.
As more media producers add to the vast ocean of content available online, the content that they offer will become increasingly specialized. As more people have more access to content, niches that were previously considered unprofitable due to a lack of mass appeal will become appealing territory for media producers looking for footholds in a crowded market. You will be able to access a wide variety of content relating to virtually any topic of interest at any time, not just allowing, but requiring you to be more and more selective in the content that you choose to consume.
Current trends in the aggregation of user data, united with rapid and innovative developments in the storage and analysis of staggering amounts of data, will have both positive and (potentially) negative effects. The content that is presented to you, through your personal cloud, will pass through advanced filters that ensure it consists only of the specialized content that you want to see. While the fact that advertisers will use that data to target specific users, and types of users, with pinpoint accuracy could seem negative at first glance, it also means that they will only be subject to marketing that is highly relevant to them.
All of these predictions are based on the current trends in media monitoring, but it is very difficult to predict advancements that we have not yet imagined as a society. Imagining the future of media and its consumption in 20 years is much like a person in the early 1980s attempting to imagine the internet as it exists right now – they likely wouldn’t have known what they were looking at.
There is no single technological or social advancement that has created media as it exists today. It was an ever-evolving process involving advancements and adaptations in many different areas of our lives, and the only certainty is that this process will continue. Media, and our relationship with it, will change slowly and surely, and the only fact of which we can be certain is the simple fact that it will change.