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February 04, 2009

A bounce away from big

Bouncing kangaroos
Boxing kangaroos picture courtesy of aaardvaark.

In an interesting article by Dan Fairey-Jones, Brand Republic reports today the decision by The Competition Commission’s to put an end to Project Kangaroo, the joint venture between BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4, ‘on the grounds that it would overly restrict competition in the video on demand market.’

There are several views in that article about what Project Kangeroo represented. It represented the ability to lead in content generation at a global level, the ability to keep content generation open to competition and a project to promote UK media content with healthy advertising revenues attached as part of the change.

What can be taken out of this decision? Without being near the centre of these discussions and from an arm’s length perspective but with a lifetime involved in media communications, it seems to me what's worth noting is that this decision brings with it a bounce away from big.

The days of big above the line media spends are becoming tinged with a degree of twilight.
If channel proliferation is staying as is, how will media reach audiences effectively as we start to favour content creation on the web that is increasingly homespun?

Are media organizations scaled to deal with that, I wonder, and what brands will have to do to play a part in the lives of their consumers this way.

There's the question of how will we fare as on the global stage as media content providers within a global marketplace, the next chapter of economic evolution is likely to be about that in some form.

On the side of small, community management is replacing brand management with intimacy in communications becoming consequently more important. When attention is at a minimum, loose intimate bonds are most rewarding and most accessible.

These new media and market dynamics will mean a rethink in media strategy for many.

Personally, whilst I regret the missed opportunity for a market-leading UK supermedia brand to emerge with this decision, there is every opportunity and reason now for media brands, and brands generally, to communicate with more relevance with their constituencies, and in building constituencies than can be, each in their own right, very springy.

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