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New Report Suggests Artificial Intelligence Could Disrupt Challenging Economics Within The Media Industry

Generative AI’s most significant effect on prominent content producers and distributors lies not in disrupting the media creation process but in empowering their strongest rivals: YouTube and TikTok content creators. These platforms now have access to additional tools that enable them to penetrate further the daily video consumption that the media industry fiercely competes for.

In a newly released report titled “AI and Competitive Advantage in Media” from the studio-funded think tank ETC, generative AI is identified as a potential disruptor of the already challenging economics within the media industry. The report highlights the stable demand (limited to 24 hours a day) and the exponential growth in supply as critical factors.

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Yves Bergquist, ETC’s resident data scientist, and AI expert, draws a parallel between the current developments in the media industry and the automation of manufacturing, emphasizing the shift towards making the production process computable, similar to what occurred in the manufacturing sector.

The concept of content being “computable” refers to its production in large volumes and its ability to be processed by machines. This entails every aspect of content creation, distribution, and audience feedback is transformed into data that can be analyzed and dissected.

Unlike traditional media companies, which produce content linearly and as individual entities, they are not inherently “computable.” Their content is often scarce, whole, long-form, and lacks the structured format required for easy manipulation by online audiences or machine analysis.

However, studios and streaming platforms will need to adapt and embrace this computable approach to remain relevant in the future.

ETC breaks down the creative process into three components. Yves Bergquist refers to the initial phase of generating ideas and understanding audience preferences as “zeitgeist intelligence.”

Next, we have the central aspect of the creative process, wherein creators establish their unique voices and make crucial strategic choices regarding the product they intend to develop.

Subsequently, the actual production of the product takes place.

Generative AI primarily affects this final phase of production. However, automating the production process enhances the significance of zeitgeist-sensing and creative decision-making and provides creative decision-makers with tools for rapid, cost-effective tinkering, experimentation, and prototyping.

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