The media landscape has been in the midst of change for a long time, and now it is faced with more disruption.
Earlier this year, US giants Verizon and AT&T unloaded their media assets for knockdown prices and we concluded that content was not what telcos do best, or even moderately well. Some said that the nearly new CEO of Verizon, Ericsson veteran Has Vestberg, did not understand content and was much more comfortable with networks. AT&T realised that buying Time Warner had been something of a vanity purchase and let it go.
The media, it seemed, was not for the likes of telcos.
Yet, now, something even more confusing is happening.
Fintech companies are out on a buying spree and they are buying into the media in an even more niche way than the telcos tried.
Even the financial titan JP Morgan has bought a couple of media assets in the last few months. One was The Infatuation, a recommendation play. The other was Frank that helps students get financial aid.
JP Morgan is not alone. Hubspot is another, and the CTO recently said what many now believe – that software companies should have media assets to have a direct, truthful conversation with their customers. Media companies have a software company embedded, and it should be the same in reverse.
The other reason is that there are financial tricks you can play to leverage purchases in the media sector around Lifetime Value and Cost of acquisition.
Leaving aside the technical issues, it is an interesting trend.
Look a little deeper; part of the reason behind this could be that there is now a gap in the market – for truth.
Brands that are trusted see a world where their customers are being bombarded by biased, false and evil content and believe that if they become the entity that delivers truthful content, their value will increase. Big brands are changing the way they market themselves as a result.
They are giving back – to the planet, to their customers, to the market.
If you trust a brand, why would you not trust that brand to deliver the media, media that is truthful and trustworthy?
Financial and software companies might have spotted what those giant telcos failed to spot (or perhaps they were too early in the cycle) that having a vehicle with which you can speak directly to your customers is an effective way of boosting your brand.
And many others agree (Stripe, Tesla, Hubspot, Coinbase and JP Morgan amongst them).
The media might be about to become an extremely interesting arena.