The impact of digital on the media industry has been topsy-turvy at best as it has up ended business models, changing the industry irrevocably. Unlike some of the other areas that Canada’s Digital Compass explored, media is faced with turning a necessary evil into an opportunity.
But this isn’t news.
What was interesting is how many of the ideas submitted touched upon new business models that revolved around loosening control to successfully leverage the new digital reality. Could media reinvent itself using lessons learned from the technology industry, starting with Linux and the open source movement?
There were also some great solutions that were targeted at smaller, underserved markets. Can mass media survive and thrive by focusing on solutions for very specific demographics? The idea of mass customization has helped many consumer product companies grab back market share that they were losing to lower cost alternatives.
Some of the most innovative ideas and business models in the last few years have found success in the non-profit sector, like micropayments or leveraging the passions of so-called “amateurs” to more cost-effectively create a professional product or result (yes, this hints at crowdsourcing, but Canada’s Digital Compass is not designed to solicit inexpensive ideas for PwC to turn around and charge money for, it is really about creating a dialogue.)
Time will tell, whether the media industry will be able to turn digital into a great opportunity, as opposed to finding a solution that will save their business, but those brave enough to submit ideas to this crowdsourcing site have showed that recreating the wheel doesn’t need to mean starting from scratch, but can be about putting a new twist on a proven concept.