PARQOR is the handbook every media and technology executive needs to navigate the seismic shifts underway in the media business. Through in-depth analysis from a network of senior media and tech leaders, Andrew Rosen cuts through what's happening, highlights what it means and suggests where you should go next.
In Q4 2022, PARQOR will be focusing on four trends: this essay touches on all four.
A four-year-old clip of YouTube and Netflix star Bo Burnham star re-surfaced and went viral this week. It’s from the promotional tour of his 2018 movie Eighth Grade, a movie about a teenage girl coming-of-age in the social media era.
It’s a short, two-minute clip where Burnham describes social media as a business that “colonizes” human attention, because human attention is the logical successor to land, which used to be the best model. And therefore, social media companies with public listings can only grow by capturing as much human attention as possible: “Every single free moment you have is a moment you could be looking at your phone, and they could be gathering information to target ads at you.”
The clip is an extreme version of a point I argued in “An Elegy to "Premium" Content Defined By Production Budgets” and also last week, and which a recent presentation at the IAB Brand Disruption Summit 2022 by Chris Bruderle, IAB’s Vice President of Research & Insights, offered data to support: “First, consumers are now spending more time with faster, cheaper and sometimes better creator content than more expensive professionally-produced content. And, second, advertisers are quickly shifting budgets to user-created content.”
The implication of that research is quality matters less and less to both consumers and advertisers. As this trend continues, the less valuable content will be outside of ecosystems and platforms that know how to capture and monetize attention.
YouTube creator and Hollywood director Bo Burnham's dystopian vision of attention-driven media growth models is here, but it's also evolving into much more than he had imagined it to be.
Total words: 1,600
Total time reading: 6 minutes
Social media users and the broader media have embraced Burnham’s prescient prediction as a critique of Elon Musk’s plans for Twitter. But in terms of timing, it also ends up serving as a funhouse mirror on recent quarterly earnings calls. In one way, it confirms Wall Street’s bearish ...