Commentary

Are Media, Tech Companies Merging Into One Entity?

We hear about traditional consumer product companies wanting to be “tech” companies now. But what about being media companies? (Or is it the same thing?)

Analysts talk about the evolution of automobile manufacturers when it comes to self-driving cars. Future cars might have the technology to know your medical history, parking habits, and consumer product on-the-go behavior. Cars will be “networked” and will “talk” to each other to avoid accidents.

So does GM wants to be Apple? Will Ford look like Google?

Elon Musk, the high-profile Tesla CEO,  thinks beyond high-end electric automobiles. He thinks about space-adventure efforts, solar energy and making future generation batteries. What about the media inside those self-driving cars -- especially with all the time saving?

It’s no wonder Apple is moving in this direction -- with a proposed $1 billion to create TV and movies to put on its computers and personal devices.

Some of these moves were born out of new marketing pursuits: so-called native advertising efforts, the ability to control the message through creating content -- entertainment content -- with a brand’s own furtive (or overt) point of view.

In the digital age, many media futurists still believe advertising and “entertainment” content is on a collision course. While TV commercials are a standard -- and easy for big legacy marketers to understand, digest and change -- evolution is coming. Standard TV product placements? Think well beyond this.

It will take new money or a shift from marketing dollars. And lots of it. Apple's $1 billion outlay might seem like chump change next to Netflix's $7 billion content investment or Amazon's $4.5 billion.

Overall, in 2016, General Motors spent $3.8 billion in U.S. advertising, and Ford Motor spent $2.4 billion. How much of this should now be in "content"?

Or consider this: In 2015, Disney-ABC spent $11.8 billion in TV-movie production; NBCUniversal, $10.3 billion; CBS, $5.7 billion; Turner, $3.8 billion and HBO, $2.0 billion, according to an IHS study. That year, Netflix was at $4.9 billion and Amazon was at $2.6 billion.

Creating content is an obvious place for growth. But how will it connect to future consumer products such as portable media devices, cars, refrigerators, replacement power drinks and chocolate snacks?

2 comments about "Are Media, Tech Companies Merging Into One Entity?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 5, 2017 at 10:58 a.m.

    Are these the same "media futurists" who, in the early 1980s predicted that there would be no broadcast TV networks by 1990?

  2. John Grono from GAP Research, October 5, 2017 at 7:05 p.m.

    No.   They changed it to 1995.

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