2017, the last year of the XX century

Mar 26, 2014
The 5 most mentioned keywords in the text are: media landscape
social change
digital medium
traditional media.
The Media Landscape in 2017: Shifting Revenue Sources and the Challenges of Independence and Social Change
The press and political power are closely intertwined. This relationship remains vital even in countries with more independent media. After all, radio and TV stations rely on government concessions. However, 2017 marked a turning point. Analysts predicted that the following year would be the first where most revenue would come from sources independent of government. This could suggest media emancipation, but it's not guaranteed.
What does it mean for market leaders to be theoretically independent of government regulation? In established democracies, this could decrease the relevance of legislators to the media, leading to more independent journalism. However, even four years later, many of the world's congresses and parliaments are still grappling with the legal foundations of digital platforms. This is evident in laws like our Marco Civil da Internet and regulations that protect web neutrality. Resistance to protecting the digital medium from economical or political pressures are remnants of an old regime reluctant to give way to a new order.
In markets where government power is not overwhelming and where there is some competition in the media market, TV no longer being the highest-earning medium has significant implications. However, none of these imply fragmentation of resources. Large digital corporations like Google and Facebook are likely to benefit most from this shift. Still, the digital realm's 'guerrilla' nature should continue to allow 'news start-ups' like the Huffington Post to emerge and gain relevance. This is a stark contrast to TV, a medium that requires substantial initial capital investment, effectively barring smaller competitors.
The risk lies in the traditional media, backed by the State, creating hurdles for this new order. There have already been instances of this. For example, attempts to pass the SOPA and PIPA legislations, allegedly to "protect copyright", were blatant assaults on web neutrality. Similarly, a US federal judge's decision forcing Netflix to pay for its 'excess' streaming bandwidth is another attempt to create a tiered network based on the purchasing power of media providers and consumers. Viewed ideologically, this is a form of social control that, alarmingly, doesn't garner as much public attention as it should.
Despite these challenges, if predictions hold, by 2018 the digital medium (including mobile devices) will account for over 36% of global advertising revenue. This share is expected to grow as traditional TV channels decline due to generational changes. Marshall McLuhan might have been pleased to see the accuracy of his mid-twentieth-century predictions. However, it remains to be seen whether this media transition will lead to social changes. Such changes will only occur if societies mobilize. After all, technology only changes the world when the people using it take action.

© Cassiano Gobbet 2023 - 2024