Future of Media short on future insights

Last night Digital Journal hosted an evening discussion called Future of Media in Toronto’s Drake Hotel.  The participating panel included Mark Evans, Elmer Sotto from Facebook Canada, Anjali Kapoor from The Globe and Mail, David Skok from Global News and Kunal Gupta from Polar Mobile.

With a packed room the conversation got under way.  

Those hoping to hear about the future were about to be disappointed.  Instead, most of the conversation was about the past and the present.  

The first question posed by the moderator: What is the biggest challenge facing traditional media in light of this new digital world? Mark Evans answered that content is and will continue to be king and that people will gravitate to great content. Legacy media’s strength lies in content which will drive their readership and revenue.  A nice opening discussion yet the event about future seemed stuck on this topic of today and traditional media’s relevancy today.

The discussion had a chance to get a bit interesting when Mark and Kunal Gupta disagreed on the future of mobile media.  Mark argued that mobile may never be more than a quick in and out medium and that advertisers will be slow to pour valuable resources into a space that people don’t stay on.  Not to mention that the advertising space on a mobile device is tiny.

Kunal, ever the futurist, suggested the type of messaging developed by content providers on mobile needs to change. He stated that mobile is a push medium unlike other mediums which are pull.  Instead of pushing this conversation forward, the moderator changed the direction to television.

If someone attended this panel discussion hoping for some insight into what might be on the horizon they probably came away dissatisfied. 

However, if they wanted a discussion on the trends happening in today’s media environment the more than 2 hour discussion they left happy.