Brands: Socially Constructed Reality
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What is a media company?


Saw a good presentation this morning by Simon Waldman, Director of Digital Strategy at Guardian Media Group. He specifically addressed something that I've been trying to get my head round for a while: in a converged world, how does a media brand define itself?

He put forward the above model for what a media company used to be. They have a brand and their talent, that create the content, but to a large degree a media company has thus far been defined by its distribution mechanism - so a tv channel is, well, a tv channel and a magazine is a magazine.

But now we are entering a converged world and that, every media brand is converging into the same spaces: you can get cross platform content - be it text, audio or video - from Channel 4, FHM, The Guardian or Kiss radio. So, in this converged world, how does a media company define itself?

Simon put forward the following:


So it becomes the community that considers itself your audience that helps define you as a media organisation [correct me if I'm wrong Simon!].

I like this but I suspect that only media brands that have a distinct positioning will be able to compete. If you can get content in any form from anywhere, only the strength of the relationship you have as a brand with your audience will keep you cohesive. Brands move into the position of editors and facilitators, as well as being content creators.   

So that Guardian moves from being "A Daily National Liberal Newspaper" to "The World's Leading Liberal Voice" - a territory it can fairly claim.

But if you're ITV 3, I've no idea where you go.