The Democratization of Content Creation

Content creation is no longer limited to the major Hollywood studios. Netflix and Amazon are directly reshaping the media industry by forcing the traditional studios, and now conglomerates such as Disney, to shift to the development of both original content and streaming platforms.

This democratization of media isn’t exactly new. We’ve seen this before with the emergence of social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and even YouTube in the late 2000’s until today. The flow of raw information could easily and quickly be disseminated to anyone with access to a Twitter account.

What is new is the oncoming revolution of not just the distribution of original content (that era has already passed). The new revolution will be hard fought between platforms.

The Maturation of the Original Content Platform

Five years ago the world held onto the erroneous notion that content creation was impossible outside the production of a major studio. Netflix broke that mold in 2013 by producing and releasing hit series’ such as ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Orange Is The New Black’.

That was five years ago, and now that original content is poised to disrupt the power structure of the Hollywood fiefdom, we’re entering an era where content + platform is essential.

While the turn of the century marked the advent of democratized media that could move at the speed of 140 characters, this new era marks an era of increased specialization and media fragmentation.

On November 9, 2017, Disney CEO Robert Iger announced Disney’s plan to release an original content platform to compete directly with Netflix and Amazon. This is significant because we’re finally seeing the convergence of traditional studios and upstart content creators on the same battleground.

I must reiterate the battleground will not only be characterized by the struggle for original content.  Original content is no longer enough.  Over the next 36 to 48 months the real struggle will be between platforms.  Do Netflix and Amazon have the staying power to maintain their leading positions?  Or, does Disney have the leverage with its original franchises?  Time will tell, but either way, it will be a tight race.  Can’t wait to see what happens next.

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