Negotiating the future

This is my first blog post for Forrester, so let me introduce myself. I'm Nick Thomas and I'm an analyst covering media issues for Consumer Product Strategy Professionals.

The hot topic in the UK media sector at the moment is the future of Public Service Broadcasting, and more specifically what funding model the broadcaster Channel 4 will have in the future. I won't go into the detail of the debate here, fascinating though it is. Instead, let me reflect on the bigger issues arising from it which have struck me in this historic week. We are indeed entering a new era.

Speaking at the Oxford Media Convention this morning, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Andy Burnham, offered a sobering view of the media landscape which may have been obvious for the assembled audience of media types, but which from a UK government minister is nevertheless still fairly radical.

"Old certainties have broken down," he argued. "That much is clear in global finance, but it is equally true in media. And this change is happening on many fronts.

"The change that was coming in the multi-channel, online age – the structural threat to the advertising revenue funded model – has accelerated with the change in the world economy.

"The old media world has ended – and the sooner we say so the better. With it must go old thinking," he said. "But the difficulty we all have is this: it doesn’t yet feel like an era of new possibility, and change we can all believe in, but one of threat and decline."

So where are the new possibilities? How can companies negotiate these new realities when old certainties are eroding? These are the themes we are exploring in our research in the year ahead, understanding how users' media consumption is changing and focusing on new ways for companies to respond to these changes, to create sustainable business models. We'll be addressing these through our syndicated research, our blogs, and our consulting work with our clients. Watch this space.