The Digital Media Manifesto



A. Kumar


Digital Media Hurdles




Hurdle 1: Customer Management

As media consumption branches out to various platforms and as digital media provides more interactive tools for its digital channels, companies must change their own paradigm regarding consumer interactions. In the past, media consumers were merely audiences with no distinct characteristics, other than basic demographic information provided by ratings organizations. In the future, these audiences can have much closer relationships with the content providers— individual needs and wants need to be recognized instead of being “lumped together” with the entire audience. Digital media should enable companies further their consumer relationships by:

Unique demographic factors will also influence various industry segments. As one example, surging immigrant populations within developed nations are creating new markets for language-based specialties.


Hurdle 2: Integration of Content creation and management

Whereas in the analogue technology world, the content creation, content management and content distribution are in silos, the digital media initiative would have to cross the hurdle by fusing content creation and management systems, that will enable flexible content repurposing and eliminate redundant storage of media content systems. This back-end integration will enhances content production, content distribution and storage, and overall distribution management.


Hurdle 3: Integrated Media:

Content should be created so that it can be quickly repurposed and distributed over any media platform or network.Integrated Digital media should provide distribution capability to any device, over any network, to any environment using digitized content. Current delivery formats can be broadcast, downloaded or streamed over any distribution platform to any media-capable device. By delving into integrated media, media enterprises can expand the value networks (involving a wider range of business partners), more customer and end consumer touchpoints, a larger pool of potential revenue models, and new skills that complement and  enable the other four plays.


Hurdle 4: Avoiding “too fast too soon” innovation:

The amount of content a consumer experiences each day has skyrocketed. Media companies have responded to the relentless demand with non-stop innovation. Multiple new devices and content streams have contributed to increased fragmentation of audiences.

As providers roll out innovations to appease demand, high expectations and hype will result in some developmental setbacks. Conflicting standards, difficult handling, high price, false promises and poor customer service will produce customer resistance. And demand for bandwidth will continue to outstrip availability. The many industries that rely on telecommunications infrastructure have a pressing need to cooperate in sharing the multi-billion dollar investments needed to create uniform interoperability standards

Barriers between work and personal life will continue to break down, stimulating demand for media and entertainment content in non-traditional venues, such as business-to-business and education. Content will have to be formatted for an ever-widening spectrum of platforms. But only a limited percentage of high-quality, original content will be truly profitable. Margins will be squeezed in all sectors of the overchoice environment.


Hurdle 5: Legislative Hurdles

As seen recently, legislative battles will renegotiate the rules for the digital age over the next four to eight years, accompanied by court action to vet schemes that circumvent existing rules. International issues - formats, consumer protection, technical and moral standards, trade balances, taxation - also need to be sorted out. Media firms will have to figure out how to build profitable business models by balancing digital copyright security with consumer needs.