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Launch of the Future of Media Lifecycle framework

[UPDATE:] The complete Future of Media Report 2008 is now available.

Another Future of Media Summit, another framework! We are today proudly launching the Future of the Media Lifecycle framework. This is the central framework of our Future of Media Report 2008. (See also the Future of Media Strategic Framework from 2006 and Key Elements of Media Business Models from 2007).

Over the next few days two additional frameworks as well as the full Future of Media Report 2008 will be released – check back soon!

Media Lifecycle FrameworkMedia_Lifecyle_Framework.pdf

While I’d like to think that the Future of Media Lifecycle framework is self-evident, it probably helps to explain it a bit :-), so here goes:

GENESIS OF THE FRAMEWORK

The core ideas in this framework were developed when I was running a strategy workshop for the executive team of a media company that has a large portfolio of TV and radio properties. I wanted to move the executives beyond thinking from a broadcasting mindset, and ran them through a session in which we looked at how people would consume media in the future – where they would be, how they would interface with media, and what they would consume. In essence, creating a person-centered view of how we engage with media. Thus the working title of the framework began as ‘Future of Media Participation’, looking not just at our media consumption, but also how we contribute. When the framework was finished it was clear the central aspect was the media lifecycle. As such the diagram has been renamed, however it stems from looking at how and where we consume and participate in media.

THE MEDIA LIFECYCLE

Media has always had a lifecycle, but its nature is changing dramatically. The emerging media lifecycle is driven by how we both consume and create media, feeding a continuous flow of content and engagement

Sea of content

The vast and ever increasing sea of content comprises not just media in its many forms, including video, audio, music, news, and commentary, but also conversations.

Diffusion of memes

Memes (units of culture that propagate) diffuse through the media lifecycle. Some are successful in reaching significant or even large audiences. Most are not. Memes’ success is determined by how people receive and act on them. We can consider all of our media experience as the selection of memes from the infinite pool of the sea of content.

Personal cloud

The most important development in the media lifecycle is the emergence of the ‘personal cloud’. This is where individuals keep all their content stored. This includes both purchased or downloaded media and content, everything they create themselves, and all opinions, ratings, and recommendations. The personal cloud is accessible from anywhere by its owner, and any parts of it can be made available to selected friends or the world at large.

Life streaming

Most people will capture parts – or in some cases almost all – of their lives in the form of words, photos, video and more. That will be fed into the personal cloud to be accessed or made available at choice.

Personal cloud flows with home

Our personal cloud will increasingly be used for storage of our music, video and other media collections, making it available whenever and wherever we want – we can shift the time and place of media access as we choose. In addition our personal cloud will provide us with uniquely relevant recommendations based on our media preferences.

Precipitation of participation

From our personal clouds our participation falls back to the sea of content, in the form of our own content, remixes of existing content, and opinions.

HOME AND MOBILE

There are two primary spaces for our media participation: home and mobile (i.e. anywhere away from home). In each of these a new configuration of devices, interfaces, and media is emerging at the center of our media participation.

HOME

One of our primary venues for media engagement is in the home. One of the most important trends over the last years has been divergence in media consumption patterns among different family members. The home of the future will be largely designed around media.

Media Center

Media participation in the home will shift to a hub which converges TV, PC, game console, music, and more. The specifics of how this happens and the winners and losers along the way are highly uncertain, however the convergence is inevitable.

Interfaces

Our media experience at home will be transformed through new interfaces, including voice and gesture recognition, and screens in every room used for a combination of video, Internet, and digital picture frames, on walls, tabletops, and even floors. These will eventually be replaced by video wallpaper on almost every surface.

Home Media

One of the key characteristics of media at home is that simultaneous attention is often given to multiple media. Richer interfaces including 3D TV, surround screens, and immersive gaming goggles, gloves, and equipment. The media center will be linked to intelligent lighting throughout the house. Home shopping will become a far more engaging and interactive experience.

Home Networks

Home media convergence requires a backbone of connectivity and integration. Current platforms proposed for this include Ethernet, powerline (power cabling), wireless including WiFi, and coax cable. A variety of standards for integration across devices will enable a seamless home media experience.

MOBILE

We spend much of our lives out of home: at work, in cars, at airports, eating, meeting friends, in the street. Now this side of our lives is becoming as media-rich as our lives at home.

Handheld

The devices that are small enough to hold in our hands and put in our pockets have long transcended simple mobile phone or organizer functionality, to include camera, email, video and more. They are now converging into true mobile media centers. The winners in this convergence will be from a wide array of current providers.

Portable

In addition to handheld devices, we often carry portable media devices. Newspapers and magazines are a traditional form of portable media. Laptops – and increasingly ultraportable devices – are already becoming mobile media centers. Over time printed media will shift to ebook readers and other e-paper devices.

Interfaces

The major constraint on mobile media consumption is the size of the devices we can carry. Video glasses and mobile projectors will create big screen experiences wherever we go. Wireless keyboards, keyboards projected on tabletops, and voice recognition will help us to provide inputs to these devices while we are on the go.

Location based media

Increasingly media will be location-specific. Particularly when we are travelling, local alerts for traffic, weather, and airline or train schedule changes are critical. Maps, directions, and local alerts to news or activities will be automatically provided. Those who choose will receive relevant offers from local advertisers.

Outdoor media

Media will soon be inescapable wherever we go. We can expect video to be everywhere it is allowed, including on all billboards, sidewalks, café tables, buses, and more. Billboards will present us personalized ads based on our apparent gender, age, and status. Ads will vary depending on the time of day and location. Increasingly ads will be linked to mobile media content, for example using 2D bar codes and other content. Outdoor media will transcend advertising, increasingly offering content that attracts interest and viewers.

For the most current insights and trends in the living networks, follow @rossdawson on Twitter!

  • http://startups.sharmavishal.com/ Vishal Sharma

    This is a gr8 work Ross. Personal cloud is definitely and interesting trend (similar to federated identity in early 2000’s.
    I think rest is more or less obvious.

  • http://conem.wordpress.com Paul Roberts

    I like your ‘personalised cloud’ concept Ross. And yet there seems to be more than that. Reading your posting led to my thinking about the ‘social cloud’.
    Seems to me that FriendFeed is a social cloud…and being social is essentially more human.

  • http://rossdawsonblog.com Ross Dawson

    Thanks Vishal, Paul.
    Definitely agree on the social cloud – was playing around with how to show something like that, but there are limits to what you can fit into one diagram! :-) Perhaps the next one.

  • http://info-architecture.blogspot.com Samuel

    Thanks for sharing! This framework clearly stressed the lifecycle of media instead of the one-directional media of the past.
    Of course you can’t fit in everything, but I was wondering: shouldn’t ‘business’ also be added (besides ‘home’ and ‘mobile’)? Or should it be ‘home/business’ assuming that these are blurring?

  • http://everydotconnects.com Mike Chapman

    Thank you very much for putting this together and sharing. The discussion about the home of the future is fascinating. All of it is helpful.

  • http://rossdawsonblog.com Ross Dawson

    Samuel, fair point, but I think that media in a business environment is a different issue – this framework deals more with individuals’ engagement with media in their own time and space.
    Yes it is also a question of trying to fit it all in – an earlier draft also included ‘car’ and ‘theatre’ as well – car now falls into the mobile space, and theatre will be in another framework sometime :-)

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Ross Dawson is globally recognized as a leading futurist, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, strategy advisor, and bestselling author. He is Founding Chairman of AHT Group, which consists of 3 companies: consulting, publishing, and ventures firm Advanced Human Technologies, future and strategy firm Future Exploration Network, and events company The Insight Exchange.

Ross is author most recently of Getting Results From Crowds, the prescient Living Networks, which anticipated the social network revolution, the Amazon.com bestseller Developing Knowledge-Based Client Relationships, and Implementing Enterprise 2.0. (click on the links for free chapter downloads). He is based in Sydney and San Francisco with his wife jewellery designer Victoria Buckley and two beautiful young daughters.

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