Killer Podcasts Threaten Mainstream Media

Apr 16th, 2007 | By | Category: Audio Podcasting, Citizen Media, Making Money with Podcasts, Podcasting Research, Podcasting Statistics

“User-generated” podcasts and Internet media are one of the biggest threats to mainstream media, according to a survey of media and entertainment executives released today.

In its annual survey of senior executives in the media and entertainment industry, Accenture examined the growth strategies of companies across the landscape of advertising, film, music, publishing, radio, the Internet, videogames and television. More than half (57 percent) of the respondents identified the rapid growth of user-generated content, including amateur digital videos, podcasts, mobile phone photography, wikis and social-media blogs, as one of the top three challenges they face today.

“This is just the beginning for a rapidly changing landscape where the media content environment grows more fractious and the user gains more control and power,” said Gavin Mann, digital media lead for Accenture’s Media & Entertainment practice. “Traditional, established content providers will have to adapt and develop new business and monetization models in order to keep revenue streams flowing.”

User Generated Media Offers Risk, Opportunity

The new landscape offers opportunities as well as challenges, according to the study, as two-thirds (68 percent) of the respondents said they believe that within three years their businesses will be making money on user-generated content. Sixty-two percent said they believe their companies will make money through advertising and sponsorships of social media. Other sources of profits cited were subscriptions (21 percent) and pay-per-play offerings (18 percent). However, a quarter (24 percent) of respondents said they do not yet know how their businesses will profit from user-generated content.

The music industry is moving ‚Äúfrom a sales model to a consumer consumption model or participation model, where its economics are predicated on the use patterns of consumers as opposed to the purchase patterns,” said Roger Faxon, of EMI Music. ” In essence the commercial roles of music companies will be more as facilitators for bringing music and the rights that support them in to the market place, as opposed to being originators of the content itself.‚Äù

The Audience Is The Winner

Broadcasters surveyed by Accenture also predicted greater choice for consumers. “Technology will continue to alter the distribution landscape, allowing people to access content on their own schedule, wherever they are, in all kinds of ways,” said CBS’s Moonves. “Current technologically driven distribution channels will expand and new ones will open. But without compelling content, every new platform is an empty shell. Companies that can combine world-class content with powerful national and local distribution will have the competitive advantage.”

The executives surveyed in 2007 showed greater optimism about content driving their revenues than those surveyed last year, with 32 percent of respondents in this year’s survey stating that content will drive their revenues, compared with only 21 percent of respondents in last year’s survey.

Asked to identify which type of content offers the highest growth potential for their industry over the next five years, the greatest number of respondents — 53 percent — cited short-form video, followed by videogames (13 percent), full-length film (11 percent) music, (11 percent), consumer publishing (9 percent) and business publishing (4 percent).

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