We focus on multiplatform convergence, fragmented attention, and precise audience targeting when we talk about the future of media, but frictionless sharing is quietly becoming one of the biggest forces dictating the future creation, consumption and spreading of content.We’re seeing the beginnings of frictionless, passive sharing on Facebook apps like Spotify and The Washington Post Social Reader. We cede control of curating our content feed, and anything we consume on these sites is automatically broadcast to our social network. Rather than choosing and sharing the best song we listened to on any given day, we’re passively sharing the hundreds of songs that we heard instead. While it’s beginning to grow in popularity as other media sites adopt it en masse, it’s the next wave of frictionless sharing – harnessing mobile, geolocation and multi-device technologies – that will really change the game.
For one, imagine a frictionless Foursquare, where every restaurant, bar, event or lecture you experience is automatically logged and broadcast. No longer do you need to manually write a recommendation for a good tapas joint – the fact that you’ve been to one thrice speaks for itself. Once TVs and eReaders get in on the action, we’ll be passively broadcasting everything we watch, read and listen to, everywhere we go – not just content, but our behaviors. Ultimately this means a lot more noise and clutter that marketers are going to have to pierce through. How to choose from the dozens of videos or hundreds of articles my friends consumed today? We’re starting to see the reaction from content creators, in the form of conflated, sensationalist titles tacked onto every piece of content, desperately clamoring for our attention. “The One Thing You Must Know Right Now” or “This Is the Best Photo of All Time”.
As we continue moving towards a future even more saturated with media, the way we package and promote our content becomes even more important. Content curation, either from algorithms or from brands we trust, is going to play an even larger role. Consuming content will be more and more about finding the best filters.
Victor Pineiro, Senior Strategist, Big Spaceship
This leads right back to a problem that is old, not new. How DO you pierce through the noise and clutter? Most traditional attempts simply multiply noise and clutter so in the end nobody attempting to pierce through will succeed. And apparently content creators are still following that model.
But let's assume consumers will be able to react by putting better and better filters in place, which didn't used to be a possibility. Now, getting through to anybody might might require such counterintuitive strategies as being honest about what you offer and realistic in your expectations of how many may be truly receptive. An accurate characterization of what you are offering could get you invited in, so you don't have to try to huff and puff and blow the house down--another kind of friction that we will be better off without.