Taken as a whole, media is a high-risk industry. Few businesses are as diverse, unpredictable and high-paced, with rapid and often unforseeable changes in technology. To this, one could add fickle consumers, very short-lived "shelf lives" for most products, intellectual property piracy, and a relatively high susceptibility to general economic slowdowns.
Adjunct Professor of Strategy Annet Aris and co-author Jacques Bughin, a partner at McKinsey & Company, provide an exhaustive study of the current state of the industry. Rather than focussing on short-term developments, the authors have chosen to define and describe the skills media companies will need to be successful in the foreseeable future. Managing Media Companies is presented as a comprehensive overview of the key challenges currently facing media executives, forced to take daily managerial and strategic decisions in an industry going through such rapid and profound change on so many levels.
The authors focus on the core competencies media companies will need to build on to have any hopes of winning in the rapidly changing competitive landscape.
They also take pains to access the value of conventional wisdom, consistently questioning which "fundamental principles" do and do not still apply in the current environment. However, Aris and Bughin steer away from any offering of ready solutions: music, TV and film production are by their natures "hit and miss" industries. But they still feel confident in offering advice on how to "innovate not imitate to create tomorrow's blockbusters," and how proactively to plan the "blockbuster life-cycle".
The authors provide in-depth analysis of the current and future skills media companies will need to thrive - or, possibly, survive. These include gaining and maintaining customer attention; managing the content generation process; assuring end-to-end digital supply chain management, and determining what forms of creative thinking might most be needed to manage creative people.
The latter half of the book concerns itself with the most prevalent issues currently occupying the minds of media executives in mature markets around the world. This includes discussions of the future role of digital media, including of managing the transiton to digital platforms: a major concern for television broadcasters around the world.
John Wiley & Sons, 2005