Is my six-year-old nephew smarter than the media industry? It’s a ridiculous and somewhat surprising question to be asking myself after a weekend playing in Battersea Park and watching the Lion King with my little nephews. The question you are probably asking yourself is am I the modern-day version of Simba’s uncle, Scar – by inflicting such an emotional rollercoaster of a film on such young children?
Walt Disney's The Lion King
Some of you may even be wondering why I am talking about the Lion King at all! Well to recap – beyond the love story, some excellent tunes, and a slightly biblical fight between good and evil – there is an underlying plot of nature’s ecosystem, and how food chains work in balance. Reflected with the spotted hyenas, who make the lands barren from overindulging somewhat!
Scar and Simba from Disney’s The Lion King
And it was at this point my oldest nephew chirped up, saying he had learnt about food chains at school. He continued, “you need animals to eat the ‘plant eating’ animals, otherwise there would be no plants left”. He then proceeded to show me a YouTube video explaining how food chains work. Not bad for a six year old I thought.
All of which leads to my original question, is my nephew smarter than the media industry? Let’s consider the media landscape as our ecosystem. Publisher’s content are the plants, consumers the herbivores and brands the carnivores.
Through the ever-growing list of paywalls being erected, consumers are becoming harder and harder to come by, making life for carnivores more difficult. The opportunity for carnivorous brands to find their target audiences is getting harder, as the land is becoming more barren.
Rezonence research, as of May 2018
So whilst a media owner being able to put up a paywall should be celebrated – as their content is unique enough to justify consumers paying for it – we should remain cautious.
If we starve the ecosystem of information completely, we risk permanently damaging it – something my six year old nephew has fully grasped! Leaving a barren land where the little information left is no longer funded by advertisers, but something or someone far more sinister.
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