Media Economic Patterns

Study Preview The integration of technology into mass media is often the result of creative genius, but for every success story, there are many failures. The few innovators that survive will ultimately spawn imitators, and once they mature, they will need to deal with threats from innovative competitors using new technology. Consider how cable television revolutionized the television industry in the 1970s followed by the advent of satellite (DBS) broadcasting. Consider now how cable television is the industry standard and Internet streaming subscription services, such as Hulu and Netflix, are now the innovators.

Learning Objectives By the end of this module you will be able to:

  1. 3.3.1 Relate media invention to media innovation
  2. 3.3.2 Characterize successful media entrepreneurship
  3. 3.3.3 Outline the current media industry pattern
  4. 3.3.4 Explain the role of trade associations
  5. 3.3.5 Describe problems common to large media industries

3.3.1 Invention 1. Objective: Relate media invention to media innovation

Another driving force in the evolution of mass media is the relationship between invention and innovation. When a new media product is invented, innovation often follows. For instance, few people likely thought about digital music until the iPod was invented, which then paved the way for innovations such as Apple’s iTunes, Spotify,

and Google Play. Similarly, the invention of the iPhone spawned the innovation of smart phone apps.

One of the latest innovative trends is based on the technological invention of human voice interactivity—essentially, machines that respond to voice commands. Voice interactivity began with inventions that allowed humans to voice simple one-word commands, but recent innovations have evolved to the point where people can carry on conversations with their electronic devices. Echo is a cloud-based wireless speaker and voice command device that became available in January of 2015. Echo is voice activated and “wakes up” to the name Alexa. Much along the lines of iPhone’s Siri, Echo can play music upon command, create to-do lists, set alarms, provide weather and traffic reports in real time, by its owner talking naturally and asking questions, such as “Alexa, what’s the weather going to be like today?” Echo can also control smart home devices, such as lights and switches. Need the light on in the kitchen? “Alexa, dim the lights in the living room to 50%” or want to make coffee before you get out of bed? “Alexa, turn on the coffee pot.”

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