Happy 2013 To All My Colleagues And Friends

FOR some of us, the holiday season has just ended. For many, especially in Asia, it is just about to begin. At this time, wherever you are in the world, I’d like to wish all of my colleagues and friends a happy and prosperous 2013. And what a year it could be!

Those who know me know that I have been consulting for some years but in 2012, Marlene Edmunds Media Consulting, was officially launched. One of the upsides of officially hanging out my shingle is that I get to do what every other media analyst in the world is doing right now, and that is, to to look into my crystal ball and make predictions for 2013. So without further ado, here they are:

PREDICTION ONE: The Evolution Of Media As a Force For Good

In the last decade, the media landscape and the world we live in has changed more than any other time in history. We now communicate 24/7 across the globe, share our stories and cultural visions and hopes and fears more than any other time in history. There are doomsayers, hacking scandals, and financial meltdowns that have affected us all. There are governments who will use any excuse to control the media and there are media that will use any means to get out a story, including fabrication and invasion of privacy. But they are not in the majority.

The internet, especially through mobile, now allows children and adults around the world access to education, tackling previous barriers of privilege, cast and sex. More than ever before, musicians, the acting community and entertainers, even advertisers, are using their talent, power and income to help transform the world. There are issues of too much violence, too much sexism, too much prejudice but media as a community is taking these on board. Change does not happen overnight but the will to change is catchy.

PREDICTION TWO: Women Will Generate A Renaissance Of Creativity In The Industry. 

Women have moved into positions of power in media in the year 2012 more than any other time in history and that trend will continue into 2013. The collective history, stories, contributions and thinking of women is possibly the most under-tapped asset in the industry and the trickle down effect of the changes at the top will generate a Renaissance of new thinking and creativity by both women and men.

In September 2012, I talked to Alex Mahon, CEO of Shine, about some of these new dynamics. Mahon is responsible for 28 operating companies within the News Corp-owned group, including Shine TV, distribution arm Shine International and production companies such as Kudos Film & Television and Dragonfly. She noted there were not only more women in very senior management positions, especially on the content side, but they are leading more integrated lives than the men that used to hold those positions. “As they try and manage personal, professional, family and community, they tend to blend all parts of their lives in a more open and integrated fashion rather than compartmentalising as men in more traditional/inflexible sectors did. Of course, as we know, this doesn't make the women any less hard working or available but in order to be their authentic selves and get what they want from life, this blending of home and work is a necessity for many of us. In turn this tends to have a positive cascade effect on the next levels down in the office - both male and female--as they see that example and then their behaviours change.”

PREDICTION THREE: Fewer Hurdles To Creativity And Distribution Than Ever Before

South Korean singer Psy’s Gangnam Style became the first video in the history of YouTube to rack up one billion viewers, turning a local Asian singer into a worldwide sensation. YouTube as the delivery mechanism for this phenomenon signals the dawn of a new era in distribution that has changed the face of the entertainment industry. Traffic routes for music and entertainment are no longer mainly about West to East but are now seriously moving in both directions. The digital contribution from the film, TV, music and gaming sides are no longer add-ons, but rather, numbers of definitive force to be reckoned with.

PREDICTION FOUR: FEWER BOXES: THE IDEA IS THE THING

The box, and thinking inside or out of it, will go the way of the dinosaurs. New generations of early adopters will move seamlessly across any technology, platform or screen that serves their ideas and their creativity. Current experiments with 3D printing are just short of a miracle, but—watch this space—they are also just a hint of what’s to come.

PREDICTION FIVE: More Disinformation

Sorry. Not all on the sunny side, especially in the forecast department.  The ubiquity of disinformation over the internet will continue unchecked. The banking and hacking scandals, some of the failures of even the most prestigious of news outlets to carry out due diligence in their reporting, has made us sceptical. Social media, including blogging, has caused many to throw caution to the wind when it comes to spreading information. Embed. There’s no real good news on this front.

And that’s it. If you’d like a bit more information about Marlene Edmunds Media Consulting, here tis: http://www.marleneedmunds.com/consulting.

ENJOY!