The idea that someone can program our consumption is becoming obsolete, and fast. The front page of the paper disappears in a digital world, where there is no front page–merely the page I got to by clicking on a link from a friend. The tenth minute of a sitcom isn’t necessarily the part that comes after the ninth minute, and in fact, I might never even get to minute nine.
No doubt this is the single driving force behind the shift in new media. Every media company is being effected. Popular music used to be determined by which songs got played on the radio. Popular TV shows were determined by being on primetime broadcast networks. Books were popular because a bookstore placed them on a front shelf.
This is the foundation of Primacy. Many companies today are founded because they are the gatekeeper to success. That’s the disruption of the internet, and finally now we have matured to a point where it’s ubiquitous and accessible, and anyone can be successful, anyone can start a business, anyone can become an overnight sensation.
The key is to do something great. That’s the great news for consumers! The stuff that bubbles to the top isn’t what some executive in a corner office said should, it’s the good stuff. It’s the good stuff because you don’t have to watch it.
It also puts a bigger onus on content creators. No more crap loss-leader movies with massive marketing budgets. To be successful in the next century, it will be purely about making something great, because people can choose not to consume what you make.