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These 2 Major Trends Are Altering the Media Landscape. Here's How You Can Be Prepared. Social media and on-demand platforms are changing the way we consume media.

By Jonathan Long

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Jason Alden | Getty Images

The media landscape is constantly changing, and it's changing even more this year than in the past few years combined. We are seeing traditional media outlets making major shifts, as well as massive consumer brands like Disney taking a lead in the rapidly changing media landscape.

Traditional old school media outlets like TV, radio and print have all had to expand to include digital extensions in order to keep some of their audience engaged. Now, traditional reporters and news personalities are being replaced by influencers and regular people.

Social media is 100 percent responsible for this. Nobody wants to wait for the morning paper or the nightly news to see what stories are trending or what happened in the world. Social media gives you access to that information in real-time -- anyone with a mobile device is capable of "breaking" a story if they are in the right place at the right time.

How often do you hear people say something along the lines of, "This happens so much more often these days," when referring to something in the news. Often, it's not that something is happening more often -- it's just that our entire society has turned into individual media outlets thanks to social media. The media landscape is quickly changing. Here are two trends responsible for a significant portion of the alteration.

Related: Small Business Strong: How to Effectively Take a Stand on Social Media

Demand for quality content is at an all-time high.

Network TV is struggling, and I think we are going to eventually see it dwindle significantly more for two main reasons. First, consumers now have access to high-quality content that they can watch on-demand -- with both Amazon and Netflix ramping up their original content.

Second, more advertisers are going to allocate a much larger percentage of their budget for social media ads, taking it away from traditional TV. It's more measurable, and scalable. It offers laser targeting and it's where the consumer is.

Netflix is betting heavily on original content, as estimates have them spending $13 billion on original programming this year. Just to put that into perspective, CBS spent $4 billion on content last year. HBO spent $2.5 billion.

Online media outlets are also stepping up their content in a major way, with Barstool Sports being a prime example. Back in early 2016, when the Chernin Group acquired a majority stake, it was rumored that there was a valuation in the $10 to $15 million range established. A couple years later, that valuation is now north of $100 million.

How did they do that? Content. Lots of content -- and in every format imaginable.

Barstool Sports began as a newspaper. I used to read it when I was younger, and I have literally watched this brand evolve into the media giant it has become today, every step of the way. From the acquisition of Rough N Rowdy, to the expansion of their podcast lineup and video content, they are pushing out quality content in every digestible format imaginable.

Related: How This Former Monk Became a Social Media Superstar

Brands are building their own communities.

The relationship between advertisers and media giants like Facebook, for example, are not as strong as they once were. The Cambridge analytics scandal was a major blow, and it caused many brands to invest in their own independent platforms and communities.

Facebook Groups are a great way to build a highly engaged community around a specific topic or brand, but you never have full control over the platform, its data, the surrounding content and news. RedPen is a new social news and storytelling platform powered by blockchain and artificial intelligence that is showing promise in their attempt to eliminate those problems.

"Existing platforms do not provide a comprehensive view into diverse aspects of a story. Instead, they enable echo chambers and an incomplete experience," says RJ Smith, CEO of RedPen. "A brand is rolling the dice by investing time and money building an audience on a platform that doesn't offer full control and transparency. There are so many things that can be detrimental to your brand." Smith is spot-on, and I'll give you two examples why:

  1. A user logs onto the platform to engage with the community your brand has built, only to be greeted by an advertisement or sponsored post that features offensive information that slipped through the review cracks. They leave, offended, and subconsciously connect your brand with that offensive message.
  2. You create a community for your customers and when they log in, they are greeted with an advertisement by your competitor, with a compelling offer to jump ship. They take them up on the offer, and you have essentially spent time and money building a pool for your competition to snipe, right under your nose.

When you build your own community, you maintain complete control. You don't put your customer's data or privacy in the hands of others. You also have full control over what they are exposed to, while participating in the community.

Jonathan Long

Founder, Uber Brands

Jonathan Long is the founder of Uber Brands, a brand-development agency focusing on ecommerce.

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