We are incredibly pleased to welcome Martin Poyntz-Roberts, BBC Radio producer and podcast creator, to guest blog for us today on the connected future of media. Having worked on programmes such as Coast, Countryfile, Farming Today, and Spring Watch, he writes here on just how we’ll be consuming media in the future…
With evolving technology and the dissemination of ‘infotainment’, what does the future look – and sound – like with 5G just around the corner? What will consuming media in the future look like?
In the future, the concept of ‘Smart Cities’ will become the reality. In theory, our trips around the country will become much smoother, with integrated travel, weather and news updates helping us on our way. Technology will continue to be driven by commercially powerful influencers: ultra-fast mobile broadband, and high-speed real-time gaming will inevitably lead the way, but just behind will be the network of ‘beacons’ and hot-spots that connect us to the so-called ‘internet of things’.
Whilst we maintain the free will to choose our ‘content’ – be it a Spotify playlist that we create ourselves, live-tv streamed to our smart-phone, or a podcast on table-tennis – the advertising that pays for the content will be cleverly aimed at us: inter-connectivity exploited to generate revenue.
Targeted digital marketing can seamlessly find its ways into our ears or eyes as we move about. For instance, we could be walking down a street and there’s a break in the music just as we happen to be passing a coffee shop. A sensor in the store has triggered our smart device to play a short ad promoting the latest offer at the coffee shop and if we mention we heard the advert, we get 20% off our purchase. Ads will become less annoying, and even beneficial to us as they are specifically targeted to us as individuals.
But once again, success of this ‘brave new world’ all comes back to content. Writing in The Economist’s annual forecast for the year ahead, The World in 2018, Bob Iger, chief executive of Disney states:
“The one constant in our industry has been the appetite for great storytelling…In the coming years success or failure of media companies will increasingly be determined by the ability to create a direct two-way relationship with consumers.”
As the lines between media platforms become increasingly blurred, and audiences are far more demanding when it comes to handing over not only their time, but also their hard-earned cash, the challenge of the media producer of today and tomorrow is to walk that fine line of making multi-platform content easily accessible in many different forms, whilst also maintaining the quality and integrity of the product.
Or you could, like me, find a mind-blowing story to tell. Next year I embark on my biggest, most challenging project ever: producing a podcast telling the story of two adventurers as they attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest, as it happens. We don’t know what is going to happen, but it will be one hell of a journey.
Martin Poyntz-Roberts is a freelance producer with 18 years’ experience in Radio, TV and Digital production. He is about to launch a Bristol-based food podcast called ‘Get Stuffed’ with writer and blogger Natalie Brereton. Next year he will be following the story of Ben Fogle and Victoria Pendleton as they attempt to reach the summit of Mount Everest.