Who controls the media, and how (if it changes at all) does this control change?
Braun: The consumer controls media. The consumer determines what works and doesn’t work. The challenge, of course, is to come up with the next great hit. The most successful media companies are the ones that can best predict what the consumer will want tomorrow, as opposed to what they are already consuming today.
What will we want tomorrow?
Braun: I believe we will all be consuming media from a variety of platforms: print, PC/Mac, television, mobile, etc. Convergence will finally be a reality, and the Internet and television will be woven together on one screen. We will also be multi-tasking more than ever — working the Internet while we consume other media at the same time.
What is a fundamental way the Internet has changed the rules?
Braun: The music business has shown us the downside of not preparing for the digital revolution. But there is also a tremendous upside, as content becomes available in places and forms that were once unimaginable.
Where’s the next disruption coming from?
Braun: Convergence. It will change the way consumers consume content, as multi-tasking becomes part of the content experience.
What is the last change that really surprised you?
Braun: I’m rarely surprised by technological advances. We have all grown up expecting them. I have been surprised by how long it has taken for mobile devices to reach a critical mass from the standpoint of delivering a great consumer experience. That is finally starting to change, but we are well behind the rest of the world, particularly in terms of the infrastructure required to deliver mobile content quickly and in the highest quality.
What will most surprise people about media 10 years from now?
Braun: Mobile will become a dominant platform for consuming media. The u.s. will finally catch up with the rest of the world.
Will social networks dominate a sizable share of consumers’ social lives?
Braun: Of course they will. But social networks will simply be one part of a consumer’s life, integrated into everything else. It’s a mistake to think that as another platform takes hold, it has to push another one out of the way. We all find a way to fit it all in. We still listen to radio.
Lloyd Braun is the senior vice president of new media and entertainment at Yahoo.