SINEAD BOUCHER, GROUP EXECUTIVE EDITOR AT FAIRFAX MEDIA
The next few years are looking increasingly blurry. Not because we can’t see what’s coming, but because a hallmark of the next chapter in disruption will be the blurring of the boundaries between industries, as global and local players exploit data, audience and technology to move beyond the confines of their original business models.
Disruption may be less likely to come from inside players or even startups in that field than companies that used to play in a different space entirely.
If Ali Baba can be a bank as well as a retailer, and Tesla can disrupt both the auto and energy sectors in the same lithium-scented breath then what could a media company do?
Lots of exciting things. If 2015 was a year of reimagining, then 2016 will be a year of some bold moves.
Mobile, social and video continue to consume us. We’re right in the thick of a mobile-first world now where people spend almost 85 percent of their smartphone time on just five apps.
It’s a safe bet that most top fives will be dominated by international giants Google, Facebook, messaging and gaming apps, so there isn’t much space left for local players. To continue to compete and grow, we need a sharp focus on distinct utility and simplicity.
Within New Zealand, that means that while we will not only keep a wary eye on the international behemoths, and sometimes willingly put our small hands into their big ones, we also need to look inward at the needs of our own country and its communities. What do they need from us that only we can provide and how can we provide it so that we are an essential element of daily life?
Obviously for a company like ours, Kiwis’ need for relevant news and information that reflects, challenges and champions their communities is paramount. In an era where the audience is our most precious asset, we need to treat people and their privacy and security with utmost respect and integrity while understanding that ownership of data, and high quality data at that, is essential.