Media Ubiquity Returning America to Its Individualistic Roots

by Malcolm CasSelle on Jan 18, 2016 11:03:47 AM

In an increasingly consensus-driven world, where committees of many heads are seen as better than one, the oft-devalued notion of individualism is making a stellar comeback.  And it’s doing so in one of America’s most highly unexpected environments—the hyper-sophisticated arena of consumer media.

With the overwhelming plethora of content available, the new world order is consumer’s choice.  Content, platform, device, it’s all transitioning from corporate-held assets to individualized commodities.  Which means that out here in the wild, wild west of everything smart, there’s little that cannot be streamed and watched when and wherever the heart desires.  And each individual experience is like each individual; absolutely no two alike.


Comments Rachel Sullivan in a recent SmartVideo blog post, “informing creative decisions with data lets marketers enhance creative assets in a way that’s relevant to each individual, thereby engaging audiences with individualized, timely and relevant messages.”

Spurred by the inundation of smartphones (more of them currently exist than people in the world) and Netflix-style “global networks,” analytics and targeting technologies are starting to go beyond groups or demographics to address target markets at the most molecular level: individuals.

Underscoring that movement is one of the objectives in the 2014 Netflix marketing plan, defined as collecting “information about subscribers to understand individual preferences and be able to serve every one of our customers individually.”

Which means two essential things.  First, we no longer need entertainment conglomerates to tell us what to watch, or when, where and how to watch it.  Second, we’ve finally got a place where each of us can shake off the rising tide of groupthink and indulge in the exhilaration of what may someday be the world’s most valuable commodity: privacy.  Which may not actually be as far off as it sounds.  As Kimberlee Morrison stated in a Social Times blog post from March, 2014, “turning privacy into something to be purchased could easily lead to a gold rush.”

For now, though, we can take satisfaction in the fact that the ubiquity of modern media is providing an antidote to increasing levels of homogenized me-tooism by returning the U.S. to its inherently individualistic roots.


Malcolm CasSelle is SVP & GM, Digital Media at SeaChange


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