We are witnessing the rapid collapse of media institutions that have existed for more than a century. The newspaper industry is undergoing a process of ritual destruction. Broadcast markets are fragmenting into a patchwork of special interests. The next generation of consumers relies on Facebook friends to deliver the kind of value formerly provided by The New York Times.
These trends are scary to those of us who have grown up in a world of mass media, but they are inevitable and they will ultimately give birth to a new breed of special interest media that will be richer, more diverse and less predictable than the institutions they replace. For now, we're in an uneasy middle stage: Trusted institutions are going away but the institutions that will replace them have yet to be defined. What does the media landscape of the future look like and what does this mean for businesses that are trying to reach their constituents?