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Navigating a Global Digital Media Landscape

Digital content providers and distributors will do battle for consumer mind-share in 2007, according to the latest research from the Strategy Analytics Digital Media Strategies service.

"Digital Media Strategies: Hypercompetition and the Battle for Survival" notes that as barriers to entry melt away, and revenue opportunities become ever more fleeting, increased channel friction and a highly competitive environment in the media and entertainment market is likely to follow.

"An increasing number of content providers are experimenting with direct-to-consumer distribution via the Internet," comments Martin Olausson, Director of Strategy Analytics Digital Media Strategies (DMS) service. "At the same time, scores of major telecom operators and competitive broadband service providers are launching wide-scale distribution of Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) and on-demand content services; and they are rapidly establishing themselves as important content distribution partners and entertainment companies in their own right."

This development has already started to increase friction between participants in the traditional content delivery value-chain -- which has the potential to create further disruption within the media and entertainment market during the next few years. Moreover, once the realm of an elitist group of creative professionals and their associated gatekeeper distribution partners, the playing field has now been leveled where consumer interest in content is the primary criteria for gaining mind-share.

David Mercer, Principal Analyst at Strategy Analytics, adds, "While new entrants into the media and entertainment sector will undoubtedly cause an industry shake up potentially leading to reduced profitability in the short term, they also bring with them new capacity, new resources and a fresh set of skills and know-how with the potential to increase profitability in the long term."

However, I have a slightly different perspective regarding the forward-looking opportunity. The significance of professional production standards will clearly diminish over time. Reason being, consumers have recognized that there is a sizable amount of uninteresting professional content that isn't worthy of mind-share -- when compared in contrast with unique and creative amateur content that is reaching the marketplace for the first time.

The new Digital Media Strategies (DMS) advisory service from Strategy Analytics helps content owners, developers and aggregators, as well as their partners in media distribution and technology, navigate the increasingly complex digital media landscape with an objective, research-driven approach to addressing central strategic business questions. A complimentary copy of their latest report can be found at their website.

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