To celebrate 10 years of the MOST Awards, we asked media professionals from media agencies and media owners what they believed was the biggest disruptor in the past 10 years, and what they thought would have the most impact in the next decade.
Here, recently retired CEO of Media24, Esmare Weideman, gives her well-informed views.
What, in your view, was the most disruptive influence or had the biggest impact on media over the last 10 years and why do you say so?
Without a doubt the digitisation of media, which came with a lot of opportunities but also its fair share of challenges – the biggest being the slice of the digital advertising pie that Google and Facebook jointly take, not only in South Africa but internationally.
What, in your view, will have the most significant, wide-ranging influence on media in the next decade and why do you say so?
Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will fundamentally change the distribution of content through users’ personalised news feeds. Newsrooms will look vastly different, with engineers and data scientists taking their rightful place alongside editors and journalists.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence (ML/AI) will also have a major impact on the way the industry monetises, with computer scientists and data analysts assisting sales teams to best serve their advertising clients, and smart media businesses to earn revenue through alternative digital services.
User-generated content (UGC) will become big sources of content, but I believe professional journalism will become more – not less – important. The rise of fake news has already led to a renewed appreciation of carefully researched and curated content. I can only hope that one of the big future trends is increased advertising support for professional media outlets. Without that, many media organisations around the world will struggle to survive.