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Dramatic changes to media consumption along with technological advances have encouraged brands to become media organisations themselves.
The last fifteen years has seen a fundamental shift in the media landscape. Deregulation of the newspaper, magazine and broadcast industries together with technological advances have resulted in the barriers to becoming a media organisation eroding almost completely. The result is an increasingly fragmented media market with the reach (and therefore the importance) of individual traditional media organisations generally decreasing. This has resulted in a vicious circle. As audiences have decreased so have revenues from advertising and sales, resulting in staff cuts that have reduced the quality of the journalism and its value to its audience, further reducing audience size.
As audience sizes have shrunk and technology has made it easier and cheaper to publish content, companies have focused on their own publishing capabilities and “brand journalism” has become increasingly common. High quality cameras and video technology have become both cheaper and easier to use. Social media channels, which continue to evolve rapidly, are providing brands with the opportunity to develop their own audiences cost effectively and to communicate directly with them. In short, every company now has the opportunity to be a media company.
Developments in website technology, and the importance of search engine rankings, have made it easier and more important for organisations of all sizes to put their websites at the heart of their communications strategies. The cost and effectiveness of websites as publishing platforms varies dramatically however and often dates quickly. The challenge many brands are struggling with is how to make these various technologies work together.