Will 2014 Really Be The Year Of The Tech/Media Merge?

Will 2014 Really Be The Year Of The Tech/Media Merge?

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If you have access to LinkedIn Premium content, then you will have seen their Big Idea List for 2014. The list has been created by a long and prestigious group of LinkedIn influencers that includes Sir Richard Branson, Deepak Chopra, James Caan, Ban Ki-Moon and Julia Boorstin (CNBC Correspondent, covers the business of media and entertainment). Boorstin’s Big Idea isWhat will define media and technology in 2014? The end of defining labels.’

She proposes that “as these two industries converge, the silos will disappear, leaving an integrated mix of content and distribution companies. That co-mingling will enable more ambitious goals and bigger, riskier bets to push the boundaries of the business. Is Netflix a media or a tech company? It’s both. And it doesn’t matter any more“.

Boostin’s Big Idea in a Nutshell

To understand this fully we should look at the two examples she gives:

  • Disney is producing original content for Netflix that will skip TV.
  • Microsoft started a division to produce original scripted content to deliver through its XBox platform, hiring a TV veteran, Nancy Tellem to oversee it.

Boornstin is proposing that tech companies are becoming media companies and visa versa, and 2014 will see some significant milestones in that transition. Well I can see where more tech companies could do that. Apple is an obvious candidate and I wouldn’t be the first to suggest that they may do that in 2014. Then there’s Google. By acquiring YouTube they have become a media company and they are partnering with media studios to produce YouTube broadcast only content.

What I’m struggling to find are traditional media companies that are becoming tech companies! Boornstin offers no examples and instead makes the supposition that if a media company, such as Disney jumps straight to multiple device channels, bypassing traditional broadcast with some of their original content, then this infers that they are a defacto tech company. On that point I must beg to differ.

The only true hybrid media / tech company I can think of is Sony and they have been both for a very long time. Maybe NewsCorp is a media turned tech company because they own Sky who broadcast via their own satellite network, but then again maybe not. Nope – I’m still struggling to think of any other media companies that have created technology that has transformed the way we view media.

Sony make.believe logo - white

So, I’m sorry Julia, I can only agree with half your Big Idea. I would also add that because the tech companies we’re referring to have such audience muscle, if I were a traditional media company and I’m not talking to them about partnering, then I’d say its a really Big Idea to do just that in 2014.

To add your view on this subject please comment below and also take a look at the many comments so far on Boornstin’s article:


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