The media industry has been facing countless challenges over the last few years with the rise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), the issues with the media industry and the pandemic. Yet, this industry continues to thrive! And this is simply because it has taken the bull by the horn (so to speak) and has adapted to it all.

With this in mind, media update’s Talisa Carlson takes a look at the current trends that are busy shaping the media industry right before our eyes.

Ready to learn more? Let’s dive right in:

1. The development of niche interests

The entire world is connected at the tip of humanity’s fingertips — through anyone who has a device and Internet. Online access has allowed countless people from anywhere and everywhere to connect with like-minded individuals.

And because all people have unique interests in certain topics and happenings, the digisphere has set the stage for niche interests among smaller groups to have a bigger space in the spotlight. And this is fantastic!

The growing presence of smaller and more diverse topics and ideas is leaving its mark on the industry. How so, you ask?

Take, for example, Hot Rods SA magazine. In May 2020, the magazine announced the closing of its distribution company, but it said that it would be back in full swing for an August / September issue in 2020. The reason why this magazine was able to open its doors again was all thanks to its loyal readers.

This just shows that, although this magazine is in such a niche space, there are still readers who want to read their content and who can now access its offerings.

These niche markets will continue to help shape the media industry. Readers are loyal to the print and online publications that they love and they will fight hard to keep them standing. More so, they will support upcoming projects and offerings that are new to the community and that share the same passions.

Because of this, the media industry has an opportunity to build on niche markets and reach those audiences — regardless of where in the world they are. Dare we say that niche markets will, in time, bring more topics and interests to the online table than we have ever seen before.

2. Media intelligence is growing

Media intelligence continues to grow, showing how essential it is for all brands regardless of which industry they might find themselves in. But what exactly is media intelligence? Well, “it’s the process of gathering and analysing vast amounts of data, generated by various media channels, in order to gain insights into business performance, consumers, competitors, and market sectors,” according to a previous media update article.

Contextual media is busy shaping the media industry in how it is showing specific “content to users, based on the context of what the users are looking at.” This means that news and content, which is created by the media industry, will be shown to targeted readers, according to their interests.

While this can be a good thing and help give people the information that they specifically want and need, it can also put readers at a disadvantage. Why? Well, there can be danger seeing that misinformation, disinformation and fake news are now found everywhere!

Let’s use an example to elaborate on this, shall we? Anyone can start a political blog and have their say online. And this content will be picked up on and directed towards people who would be interested in it.

While this is an effective way to reach the right audience, it can also become a sort of digital filter that only provides a reader with a very specific view or angle on the topic. In this case, the reader might only see news relating to a certain political party and accept it to be true, while not being aware of contrasting angles in other news.

It can become easy for a reader to only see what their suggestions or recommended digital feeds provide them with. This leads to potential encounters with misinformation, disinformation and false news.

Awareness around these challenges is on the rise — but how is this affecting the media industry specifically? Consumers can very easily be sucked into the hole that is social media, which is filled with conspiracy theories and far-fetched stories. But it can also lead to people calling out big news outlets for being fake news when they are not providing all the facts. Ultimately, these trends can see the industry’s future swing either way.

3. Content consumption is changing

The way that readers will consume content will always be changing, which means this is something that will always influence the media industry. At the moment, video content is high in demand, and this will continue to be a preferred way to consume news, stories and online content for the foreseeable future.

What this tells us is that online publications might need to look at creating more video-based content to meet their readers’ preferences. A significant benefit of this trend is that the format allows for content to be posted on social media platforms, websites and digital advertising spaces.

Essentially, the media can reach targeted audiences in various spaces through this medium. Content can also be simplified, seeing only the top notes being taken out of stories or news pieces. Talk about getting straight to the point!

The metaverse is coming and it is also going to have a huge impact on how readers consume the news or online content. The metaverse will allow consumers to connect with one another in a virtual reality world — allowing them to talk and experience the content they read together. How cool?

In order to meet their audiences in this growing space, the media industry will need to look at how they deliver news and how they can link their content to the metaverse.

What are some other trends emerging that you think will shape the future of the media industry? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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Want to read more on the media space? Then be sure to check out How the media industry has changed in 2021.
*Image courtesy of Pexels