With the arrival of digital technology, we’ve become a nation “of multitaskers, snackers and samplers,” says Jonathan Miller, Former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AOL. A longtime player in the media industry, Miller perceives two distinct trends emerging: the fragmentation of consumption, due to “an incredible explosion of choice,” and the consolidation of money and power in the business.
These intertwined phenomena will continue to play out, Miller believes, “to the consumers’ benefit,” because the consumer is in control. Content is available across many platforms, from cell phones to laptops to handheld games, and with broadband and wireless penetration, users can get their fix of video, news, entertainment and data virtually anywhere, anytime. Consumers have at their command cheap and easy ways to produce and distribute their own content, whether original or freely exploited from other authors. There’s been a grassroots explosion of blogs, websites, mashups, instant messaging, and YouTubing. Miller notes that the internet served up five billion screens of video in 2002, and in the past year, five times as many.
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