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Explorative scenarios of emerging media trends
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media Technology and Interaction Design, MID.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3017-3813
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media Technology and Interaction Design, MID.
2014 (English)In: Journal of Print and Media Technology Research, ISSN 2223-8905, Vol. 3, no 3, 195-206 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Dealing with the on-going structural changes in the media landscape is one of the most urgent challenges in today's society, both for people working in the media industry and for consumers trying to adapt to a large and increasing number of new media technologies and services. In this article, we present and discuss a number of current media trends, outline possible future scenarios and evaluate and discuss these scenarios in terms of future media consumption, mainly focusing on the Nordic media market. The research questions are: What are the main media consumption trends today, and what could be the most important characteristics of media consumption in different future scenarios? We have used a combination of a future studies approach, semi-structured expert interviews and design fiction methodology. We have organized two reference group workshops and then interviewed 11 media experts, both from the media industry and the academic world, and combined the results of these interviews and workshops with the significant media trends generated through design fiction methodology in the project course "The Future of Media" at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

One of the conclusions drawn is that the mobile phone (smartphone) and other mobile devices such as tablets, etc., are playing an increasingly important role in current media consumption trends. We can see this through an increased number of mobile devices, an increased use of multiple devices (often used simultaneously) and in the fact that users tend to be "always connected and always synchronized". Another conclusion drawn is that there is an increased focus on personalized and individualized news with more co-creation and sharing of media content. The amount of non-text formats for news, e.g., video, is increasing, as well as the need for a high-speed, high-quality infrastructure/network. The news consumers are increasingly time-pressed, and commute more, which creates new and different demands on the media content, such as being easily accessible at all times and places. Finally, more data is collected by media companies about the consumption habits of media users and more surveillance is performed on citizens by governments and corporations. When interviewed about the scenarios and trends in this study, the experts considered the most desirable future society to have a balanced mix of governmental control and commercial powers. As an example, public service media was considered an important counterbalance to commercially oriented media companies. According to the experts that were interviewed, aspects of all four proposed scenarios could however become true in the future, depending on choices made both on an individual level and on a societal level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Zagreb: International Association of Research Organizations for the Information, Media and Graphic Arts Industrie (IARIGAI), 2014. Vol. 3, no 3, 195-206 p.
Keyword [en]
Media consumption, media trends, scenarios, future, design fiction
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-160031OAI: diva2:788269

QC 20150223

Available from: 2015-02-13 Created: 2015-02-13 Last updated: 2015-04-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Towards a sustainable media system: Explorative studies of emerging media consumption trends and media processes for content production
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards a sustainable media system: Explorative studies of emerging media consumption trends and media processes for content production
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Understanding the process of transformational change currently taking place in the media industry is an urgent challenge for people working in the industry as well as for media consumers and other stakeholders. There is a great need to deepen our general knowledge when it comes to what the future media landscape will look like. Which of the major consumption trends that exist today will continue and possibly lead to disruptive change? Which of today’s existing trends could give us a hint of tomorrow’s media landscape? Furthermore, we need to explore the environmental impact of the future media landscape. What parameters are important when it comes to environmental aspects of media consumption, as well as in the production and distribution of media content? These are examples of the questions explored in this thesis.

I have used a number of methods, such as qualitative interviews, workshops, scenarios, case studies, process studies and life cycle assessment, in order to explore the research questions. The characteristics of the media consumption trends are presented in four scenarios. I have assumed that the strength of influence from the government in combination with the strength of commercial powers will strongly affect the future of media. The development of media is framed by the economy, the political system, and by culture. The future of media is closely connected with its relationship to the power structures in society.

I have also defined eleven parameters, as central when discussing the environmental aspects of media consumption. These parameters are related to electronic devices, travel, transportation, energy use and waste. In the future, we may see the realisation of some of all four scenarios described in this thesis. The environmental aspects of these different future directions depend on each person’s life situation and a number of choices that each consumer makes concerning environmental issues, in combination with the overall societal structure.

In relation to the global challenge of climate change/global warming, I conclude that traditional media, public service media in particular, together with social media channels play an important role in the process of increasing knowledge and awareness among consumers, politicians and other stakeholders in society. However, in current media development, media companies are rapidly becoming more commercialized and more focused on entertainment instead of on producing serious journalism concerned with social, political and cultural matters.

To conclude, I believe that it is possible to create a sustainable media system, but it will require some conscious effort of people working in the media industry, of consumers, and ultimately at the level of regulatory authorities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. 92 p.
TRITA-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2015:04
Future of media, media consumption, media production, environmental aspects, media and sustainability
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Media Technology
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-164395 (URN)978-91-7595-491-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-05-08, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)

QC 20150416

Available from: 2015-04-16 Created: 2015-04-16 Last updated: 2015-04-16Bibliographically approved

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