Last week, it was reported that the BBC will soon be announcing a huge reorganization that involves eliminating divisions by media type – TV and radio – and organizing around content and audience-led divisions. This is the first large entertainment behemoth to take this bold move to restructure around the new media system that has emerged over the last decade – a media system where the audience is intricately entwined with the media. In entertainment, the business model has been built on an old 100-year old media system (based on the birth of radio, TV, film) and the only way for dying media companies to survive will be to evolve and rebuild business models to fit into the new, integrated media system that has emerged. Growth in this new system is reliant on the ability of content creators to develop specific audiences in a way where each piece of content – created and released – feeds and grows specific, unique audiences. It will be important that the BBC understands that the other key component for success will be to not only create a new internal structure, but also to create a new relationship with their segmented audiences – knowing who they are, what they want and how to enlist their power for business growth in an authentic, transparent way. It’s no longer marketing to them, it’s building a relationship with them that serves mutually serves both media company and audience.
Cheers to the BBC for leading the way in taking such a bold, risky, smart move. I look forward to watching if other entertainment companies follow suit. My prediction is if other studios do not follow the BBC’s lead, they take the even riskier choice of becoming entertainment history.