Today’s content economy is a natural result of digital technology and changing human behavior. Digital connections change the relationship between buyers & sellers. Brands can now easily engage consumers directly without media gatekeepers thorough a variety of digital channels.
Disintermediation isn’t new. You likely remember BlockBuster Video. Most every town had one. NetFlix disintermediated the video rental market with internet streaming and BlockBuster became just an answer to a trivia question. Airbnb, Uber, & Uship have also upended their respective markets by cutting out the middleman. A similar thing has been happening in the ad business. Consumers now subscribe to content they want making it a lot harder for traditional media to reach them. Newspapers were the first casualty as advertisers went more direct. Local AM/FM Radio stations and local TV stations are likely headed for the same fate.
According to Nielsen ratings for 2018-19, the broadcast networks averaged 28.5 million viewers in primetime, a decline of 7.3 million viewers (20 percent) since 2014-15. The drop-off among adults 18-49 was steeper, falling 35 percent to a 6.2 rating. These declines are attributed to “cord cutting” and video streaming services. No doubt that is true. But, the fact that streaming services offer better programming than broadcast networks is a major factor. Consider the Oscar nominations for this year. Netflix leads the Oscars with 24 nominations, more than any other media company. Wow!
So, the point is that content drives action. Always has. Consumers will do what they need to do to enjoy the content they want. Brands can benefit by being an “always on” source for brand information and inspiration.