The media, in all forms, is enduring fundamental changes in production and consumption. Changes in business models are causing media companies to develop propositions that add value and keep them relevant in an ever-changing digital landscape. This intriguing paradox, in which social media, Web3, and the metaverse have blended real, virtual, and even fictitious worlds, has also created a challenge for the industry.
Changes in consumer behavior, combined with new business models that rely heavily on end-user data acquisition and targeted advertising, have an impact on video service providers' allocation revenues.
However, we are seeing increased access to a variety of new, original content and associated digital lifestyle services, primarily due to emerging technologies. Is this a natural development of these merging digital worlds, or is there a larger, more fundamental shift in the works?
How can private and public sector organizations and other stakeholders build trust and guarantee a more secure and resilient media and entertainment industry in this era of apparent great convergence?
The new consumer
Today's market is complex. Services have been expanded to provide holistic entertainment propositions with a diverse range of offers driven by advancements in distribution. For example, if you only watch football, you only need the sports package, not a plan with dozens of channels. Consumers can now personalize their selection of available content.
Beyond customization, everything is at the fingertips of the modern customer - banking apps, streaming services, concert tickets, and more. All of this convenience, however, comes at a cost. It leaves a complex digital footprint that, if secured, can be safe. More broadly, the implications of 'identity island' fragmentation increase the risk of cyber-attacks jeopardizing the provider-consumer relationship.
There will inevitably be some turbulence as new technologies, such as Web3, emerge to drive digital lifestyles. Organizations must find a way to keep their customers' trust. This means that media companies must be able to weather and navigate the inevitable storms that come with new technologies to make their customers feel safe and secure. To address this fragmented market landscape, consortia will be formed in 2023 to architect and build secure and trustworthy solutions that are easier to deploy.
The new 'infinite' connection
New value-added services are critical to any operator's survival. These necessitate connectivity, enabling media operators to manage content and complex digital lifestyles securely. The next generation of convergence is already demonstrating that it is an "infinity" play that goes beyond entertainment content to ensure connectivity and consumer retention. Now consider the emergence of Web3, whose primary distinguishing feature is the disintermediation of business models and an inversion of the current status quo for users.
As a result, the future digital economy will likely adopt a different model than that has been successful thus far. While the recent market downturn and bankruptcies have been a source of concern for business leaders, they should not confuse market fluctuations or bad actors with the potential uses of digital assets and the technologies that underpin them.
In contrast to the Web2 model, Web3 technologies aim to decentralize access to sensitive information, which means that consumers can own a single set of credential data that they then grant access to for a relevant purpose.
The new technological landscape
Despite early challenges, Web3 application adoption has been rapid, driven by improved user value propositions and disintermediation of existing business models.
Web3's core technology uses blockchains to store data and transactions on a distributed ledger. This means that no single entity has complete control over the data or transactions; rather, they are shared by all network participants. This decentralized model protects users' information from being misused or stolen by malicious actors in a variety of industries, including finance, healthcare, and entertainment.
Thanks to these new tools, individuals now have more control over their own data, identity, and value than ever before. Incumbents who find responsible ways to engage are more likely to be partnering with new and fast-moving technology partners, manage new digital assets, and co-leading a new trust-focused way of doing business.
In the direction of a new digital trust
Individuals and governments increasingly demand that companies developing digital services regard the values and expectations of the societies in which they operate. They are withdrawing trust and support from those who do not. As the recent Earning Digital Trust Insight Report outlined, many factors contribute to trust in media and entertainment technologies. These include effective privacy protection, good cybersecurity, transparency, auditability, interoperability, safety, and redressability in the event of harm.
Web3 is still in the early stages of development. However, the value proposition for consumers at its core, one that unifies data, functionality, value, and more efficient forms of applications and asset ownership for the individual, is powerful.
Within the context of changing market dynamics and the individual's place within the enabling technological landscape, digital trust becomes structurally determinant in relationships between people and between those individuals and services.
Digital trust becomes the underwriter of social interaction authenticity and commercial transaction integrity. The leading issue is the future of digital trust in industries that exchange and trade assets, such as the media and entertainment industries.
Media companies that convene collaborate and form consumer-involved consortia to help to attain trust that ensures the integrity of human or non-human interactions will drive technological innovation, creating new dynamics and possibilities for expanding digital businesses.
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