In an age when real-time news is available at the click of a mouse, and the way consumers receive content seems to change daily, there are numerous challenges to managing a media company. A company must adapt to rapidly changing technology. It also must stay on top of social, cultural and economic shifts. These factors all impact the way media are produced and consumed.
One challenge of the brave new digital world is figuring out a way to get enough advertising revenue to cover the costs of providing news and information. Traditional print media charged subscribers a yearly fee to have the news delivered to them. This provided an additional income stream beyond advertising. But with so much free content available over the Internet, consumers are less willing to pay for subscriptions. Online media providers rely heavily--or, in some cases, exclusively--on ad revenue. This can be difficult business model, particularly in a down economy when so many would-be advertisers must cut their marketing budgets.
In 2000, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube had yet to be invented. Ten years later, these kinds of content delivery systems are commonplace. Traditional media companies that once relied on television, radio or print have had to adapt to new forms of content delivery. Skillful media managers must be prepared to modify their technology to accommodate whatever new application comes down the pipeline.
Another challenge spawned by new digital technology is a proliferation of pirated content. It has become easier for people to copy digital media and distribute it illegally. Media companies must develop new ways to secure their intellectual property. Some organizations employ legal countermeasures, such as the Recording Industry Association of America's decision to sue people suspected of file sharing. Others have resorted to new methods of encryption.
As communication becomes globalized, media managers must adapt to an increasingly international audience. This means adapting content to suit audiences from different cultures, socioeconomic backgrounds, and political affiliations. For example, a company that intends to produce content for residents of both Saudi Arabia and France would have to consider the standards and mores of both cultures, including laws related to free speech and decency, attitudes toward the roles of women, and religious beliefs.