‘Media-Nxt’ report explores pandemic’s impact on media and media consumption

“Media-Nxt,” the annual compendium examining emerging technologies and trends that are disrupting the media industry, has been released by the Newhouse School.

The report, researched and written by Newhouse School students under the auspices of the Newhouse Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship, explores six pre-pandemic trends in media and media consumption habits, and factors in some of the effects the COVID-19 pandemic will hasten and accelerate.

“Industry watchers, technologists and futurists are calling the COVID-19 pandemic an accelerator for technology adoption; some sectors have seen 10 years of advancement in less than six months,” says Sean Branagan, director of the center. “We are definitely seeing some signs of that in media.”

Topics covered in this year’s report are:

Topics were selected pre-COVID, but the reports were researched and written as the pandemic unfolded. These trends and technologies were already emerging before the pandemic, but are likely accelerating to become “digital imperatives,” Branagan says.

The report also includes a curated list of 30 early-stage media technology startups, providing media executives with potential partnership, investment or acquisition opportunities.

Seed funding for Media-Nxt was provided by Newhouse alumnus Tom Boyle ’83, founder of Boyle Ventures and former marketing executive at Coca-Cola. Alumna Maya Kosoff ’14 served as editor, and alumnus Luis Rendon G’11 was the designer. Researchers were alumni Marcella Desharnais ’19, G’20, Tara Eaton ’20, Erin Gavle ’20 and Jeffrey Gordon ’20; and students Daisy Leepson, a sophomore magazine, news and digital journalism major, Olivia Moeller, a senior advertising major, and Chen Rong, a graduate student in television, radio and film.

This is the fourth annual “Media-Nxt” report. The inaugural report, released in 2017, provided an overview of six emerging technologies that were already beginning to change the industry, plus four other technologies that were following fast-behind. The theme of the 2018 report was Combinatorial Innovation: creatively combining technologies to solve media industry problems and create opportunities. Last year, the report examined the media as high-tech industry.

Of the 93 early-stage media and media tech startups featured in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 reports, at least 11 have already been acquired by companies such as Apple, Adobe, Baidu, Leap Motion, LiveNation/TicketMaster, LivePerson, Superleague Gaming and others, and 20 other startups have received follow-on funding totaling more than $266 million, according to Branagan.

To receive a copy of the 2020 “Media-Nxt” report, visit Media-Nxt.org/2020-report and enter your email address. For more information, contact Branagan at startups@syr.edu.