The Most Important Focus about the Future of Media

The future of media is shaped by several critical considerations, but I had recently, an opportunity to sit with a few notable thought leaders about media, and I came away from the event thinking about if and how we could steer everyone’s attention to the game changing issues. Especially with the rapid advancements in technology and evolving government policies, here’s what comes to mind:

1. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

AI and machine learning are revolutionizing how media content is created, distributed, and consumed. These technologies enable personalized content recommendations, automate content moderation, and even create content through AI-driven tools. In the span of only a few months, MediaTech Ventures‘ has seen AI evolve from images and written replies so bad that we can’t help but laugh, to fully created videos, written books, voice interaction nearly indistinguishable, automatic transcription of meetings with roadmaps and tasks allocated, lectures produced and given by AI, and deepfake technology that once concerned us now used so that movies dubbed for different languages actually show the actors speaking those languages.

“Artificial intelligence will increasingly play a crucial role in content creation and distribution, making media consumption more personalized and efficient.” – Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc.

2. Data Privacy and Regulation

As governments worldwide tighten data privacy regulations, media companies must navigate a complex landscape to ensure compliance while maintaining their ability to deliver targeted advertising and personalized content.

“We are entering an era where data privacy will be paramount, and our challenge is to find the balance between innovation and regulation.” – Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta Platforms, Inc.

Now, why would I lead this consideration with the fact that governments are involved? Just this past week, the U.S. Supreme Court threw out a lower court ruling that had placed major restrictions on the ability of government officials to communicate with social media companies about their content moderation policies. In what has become an epicenter of Freedom of Speech debates, while the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution establishes clearly that the U.S. Congress can’t make a law curtailing anything anyone says (the word used is “abridge”), what this establishes is that the White House or other government officials certainly can request the removal of content on social media… which opens up the implications lobbying, political influence, and other measures that rather effectively might compel platforms to deal with speech that the government finds objectionable.

3. The Rise of Decentralized Media Platforms

Blockchain and decentralized technologies are emerging as potential disruptors in the media industry, promising greater transparency, reduced censorship, and new monetization models for content creators. Amusingly this, this turns our previous consideration on its head.

“Decentralized media platforms are the future, providing creators with unprecedented control and audiences with unparalleled access.” – Vitalik Buterin, Co-Founder of Ethereum

This is a big one because though we’ve experienced “blockchain” through both irrational exuberance and hype, and failed promises, in startups, we are starting to see the implication fully develop. Here’s what’s possible:

Appreciate for a moment why understanding these three things in particular, are critical to the work you might be hoping to do in media. While we might love or hate the implications of Artificial Intelligence, Privacy, or Data/Content Regulation, the fact of the matter isthat Blockchain has within the means to make our opinions and preferences irrelevant.

Creators x Convos

Ingenius Studio held this talk to which I referred, just a few weeks ago, and I want to impress upon you all how critical it is that have many more of such conversations. We cannot talk about nor develop AI, blockchain, social media, or public policy, without taking ALL THREE of these considerations into account. And frankly, people serving in government can’t be expected to understand any of one of these things, let alone all three — which demands even more of you, because this also means that we can’t move society forward if policy is set through the narrow influence of media or technology companies that want to drive the outcomes they prefer – we have to understand, talk about, and teach others what’s happening here.

“Creators and Convos” aims to explore rich experiences and creative journeys, fostering an environment where every conversation opens a doorway to greater understanding and inspiration.

Headlined by Ingenius Studio’s CEO & Founder, LaTecia Johnson. The evening brought together Mari Tippman, Rebecca Otto, Mitch Morales, Patrick Moody, and me. I want you to get to know these thought leaders better and connect with them so that we can accomplish this more elevated understanding, and sophisticated teaching and influence, of the future of media.

LaTecia Johnson, whose past includes roles at Apple, Microsoft, and Nielsen Media, as well as delivering activations for artists such as Nas, Diplo, and The Chainsmokers, emphasized the importance of creators owning their intellectual property and forming authentic brand partnerships. She discussed strategies for monetizing audiences and building an integrated ecosystem that positions creators at the forefront.

Rebecca Otto is the founder of The RKO Group and she draws from an extensive past working with athletes and in sports media and marketing. Clearly appreciating the implications of what’s to come in media, she works in amplifying the voices of professional athletes and the evolving role of content in sports recognizing that the athlete is in many respects the creator or artists – deserving of much more from and much more control over their work.

Mari Tippman runs sales for a platform connecting creator content with fast-growing CPG brands like Olipop, Goodles, and Thelma’s. She highlighted the significance of aligning sales and customer success teams to drive growth; or as I might put it similar to the many times I’ve pushed founders to understand what Marketing really means, she’s reconnecting the dots that the early internet broke – that everything is interdependent. Let me remind you of those three areas of focus I mentioned, and why you must proceed with understanding how each will influence the other.

Patrick Moody provided a cross-functional perspective on the future of media, drawing from his experience in finance, venture capital, and media. He currently helps to lead finance and strategy at Atmosphere, the world’s leading streaming TV service for businesses, and his insights into community building and strategic growth were particularly valuable for early-stage ventures and startups.

“Our incredible lineup featuring Rebecca Otto, Patrick Moody, Mari Tippmann, Paul O’Brien, and LaTecia Johnson gave us a unique opportunity to explore their rich experiences and creative journeys that led them to where they are today while allowing attendees to get deep personal insights into tomorrow.”

Umar Brimah, Austin Venture Association

The future of media is an intricate interplay of artificial intelligence, data privacy regulations, and decentralized platforms, each influencing and amplifying the other. AI and machine learning drive personalized content and efficient distribution but require vast amounts of user data, highlighting the critical need for robust data privacy measures, if that’s even possible. As governments implement stricter regulations, media companies must balance innovation with compliance, ensuring user trust while harnessing AI’s potential. Decentralized platforms, enabled by blockchain, promise transparency and reduced censorship, offering new monetization models but also introducing risks like misinformation, anonymity, loss of control, and security vulnerabilities. Navigating all of this demands YOU learn, keep up, and speak up, so that society is careful in our approach to leveraging benefits while understanding the inherent risks that we can’t simply regulate away.

By the way, we’re going to talk more about the future of media

JULY 10, 2024, REGISTER for an interactive online workshop will challenge the traditional startup mindset and show you why media is the new capital.

We’ll be online where you prefer; 1 CST on Wednesday the 10th:

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