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7 Predictions for the Media Industry
A LexisNexis® Industry Report
The global Entertainment and Media industry is projected to grow at a rate of roughly 4.4 percent annually over the next five years, according to PwC’s Global Entertainment and Media Outlook for 2016-2020. This growth trend reflects the increasing diversification of media companies and the impact of emerging technologies on rising consumer demand for new entertainment and media content.
But within that overall growth story, the business forecasts regarding traditional media segments are varied. For example, newspaper publishing is expected to decline at a rate of -2.9 percent annually over the next few years, while B2B media is forecasted to grow 3.1 percent annually, and magazine publishing is projected to be essentially flat. With such a mixed bag of economic forecasts for different components of the industry, it’s important to look down the road and try to anticipate the trends that might be around the corner.
According to a sampling of industry experts, here are seven predictions for the U.S. media industry in 2017:
- “Fake news” triggers a populist renaissance in journalism
Regardless of one’s political leanings, one of the disturbing developments of 2016 was the notion that content could be pushed out to readers as “news” even if it had no basis in fact whatsoever. In the closing weeks of the presidential campaign, fake stories—such as the Pope endorsing Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton selling weapons to ISIS— outperformed real news on Facebook. Suddenly, we were all confronted with the scary thought that what is real and what is not real might not matter anymore to readers.
“Among other things . . . in 2017, populist journalism needs to be reinvented,” writes Juliette De Maeyer, an assistant professor at the Université de Montréal, and Dominique Trudel, a researcher at CNRS in France. “The muckrakers of the Progressive Era perfectly exemplify that: Their reporting was sensational and rabidly adversarial, politically engaged with a reformist agenda . . . but for all that, they didn’t disregard facts. If there’s one thing that 2017 could hope to emulate, it’s the muckrakers’ ability to produce journalism that is genuinely concerned with the interest of the people.”
Perhaps a populist renaissance in journalism will remind all of us that facts still matter, regardless of the direction they take our news stories and their political implications.
- Artificial Intelligence as a tool for sharing the news
Machine learning is already making a significant impact in various industries but has so far been largely absent from the distribution of news content to audiences. This year, journalists and publishers may well be introduced to this futuristic technology and begin to embrace its power to help them with the process of communicating the news to readers.
“2017 is going to provide an interesting opportunity for news organizations, thanks to voice-activated personal home assistants,” predicts Ray Soto, design director of emerging technologies at USA Today Network. “These unassuming small internet-connected devices are powered by evolving machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms, built to deliver relevant and credible news catered to an individual’s preferences. Through audio cues, news will become conversational providing a consumer the opportunity to build a personal relationship with a news organization: ‘Good morning. What’s happening in the world today?’”
This exciting breakthrough in technology may well be the next big thing for how consumers identify and ingest news content.
Download your copy of “7 Predictions for the Media Industry in 2017: A LexisNexis Industry Report” to learn more about how virtual reality, mega-mergers and other trends will impact you in the coming year—and beyond.