I’ve been working in or with the media and entertainment sector since I was 12 years old. It was so simple then. There was film & television (which is where I started at 12), music & radio (where I worked from the end of school) and newsprint and magazines (where I have never worked in or thankfully appeared in!)
Retraining as a lawyer I saw the evolution of digital media (or multi media as it was once known) as it happened. The www emerged on 28 bit modem, mp3 surfaced, transmission was light speed the dot com bubble inflated and burst and overnight the world shrunk. In the late 90s and early 00s the smart money saw the internet as a boon for cutting out some bricks and mortar businesses and replacing them with the Internet. Amazon was the example of the time. No one then really imagined that sites like Google, Twitter or Facebook would emerge as poster children for new media.
Media & entertainment lawyers used to advise either the media business or the talent about film & television, music & radio or newsprint & magazines. The early millennial media mix up also changed the entertainment lawyers business from understanding and advising (about fairly complex businesses) to reaching into technology, investment structures and grappling with new business models. All of this whilst trying to find solutions for bringing new and old together in a legal system that itself is wheezing for air, exhausted from the continual change about to come.
The new media disrupted traditional media and blew apart the simple strands of what media was. Today it is largely irrelevant what the media is – traditional, tech, new, old and that has been argued over way too much. I have spent years thinking about how the media would end up. I often spoke of change and figuring out what the next big thing was. Time after time I was frustrated that it moved faster than it would settle and the improbability of predicting even broad trends became far-fetched.
Life as a media & entertainment lawyer is still about working in shades of grey with some of the most creative and innovative people on the planet. I’ve moved beyond trying to figure out the media & entertainment industry’s next move. I’m enjoying the people.
One thought on “Media and entertainment’s next big thing will happen whether you predict it or not”
Well said. Insightful and enlightening. Respect.