The great media rumble

The internet has been a boon for entrepreneurs. The commerce said entrepreneurs have created has been one of connection, more than revenue with social media networks being the greatest love child of the internet age. The overwhelming majority of them are free to use, which has resulted in a dramatic power shift in the industrial media landscape. More succinctly social media is very quickly stealing eyeballs from traditional media.

While startups are busy creating the new forums which people connect and entertain themselves on, advertising and media agencies are scrambling to stake their claim on new media. It’s shaping up to be the demarcation dispute of the decade. Both parties believe that social media is rightfully theirs:

Media Agencies claim it is ‘Media’ and so their clients should engage them strategically.

Advertising Agencies claim it is ‘content driven’ and so their cleints should engage them straetgically.

What’s clear is that is isn’t about to go away and it will continue attract larger percentages of the marketing budget as time progresses. And just in case your wondering what I think about social media and who rightfully owns it, my viewpoint is very clear and is given below:

Just like any emerging technology or industry, no one rightfully owns it. It’s up for grabs. The companies (new or existing) who move into the space the quickest and add the most value will take home the trophy.



  1. Leon Sammartino · August 8, 2010

    Perhaps it’s not a role for either Media or Ad Agency. Or perhaps like all other media it’s works best when they two work together, the ad agency providing the content, and the media agenecy determining and managing the outlet.

    Or, as it is generally seen as ‘Free’ (although let’s remember nothing is ever free), and it is generally about the brand personailty/strategy/corporate policies perhaps it fits better into a PR sphere, or better still, why outsource it at all?

    • Steve Sammartino · August 8, 2010

      Believe it or not I agree with all your points. The key message here is that it’s new and so the current systems don’t really serve it that well, in which case new systems and companies will emerge to deal with it.

      Your point on it being ‘Free’ is also misleading as it requires an incredible investment in time, content generation and seeding even though it’s placement doesn’t have media fees. The only real difference from the industrial media landscape is that eyeballs are earned not bought.


  2. samotage · August 8, 2010

    I rekon the term “Media” was probably picked badly at the time, and believe the term “Social Media” is probably passing it’s half life, to be known as something else in the future, like the grapevine.

    That’ something that can’t be easily owned, and takes its own course.


    • Steve Sammartino · August 8, 2010

      I agree with your sentiments. Actually Garry V had a good piece on this last week saying the same thing:

      The word media invokes ideas of someone controlling the output. I don’t know how to coin the phrase but my view is that such digitally augmented conversation is really just the next iteration of language like speaking, writing, and books have been – it’s just the next step in human communication evolution.


      • Sam Sabey · August 8, 2010

        Ahhh, the world wide web, and before that the information super-highway… Now it’s out of style to even put www. in front of one’s domain name.

  3. childrens compensation · August 8, 2010

    Advertising companies always think that they should be the ones people interact with. Personally i think that social media platforms should stay relatively advertisment free but i understand that they need to cover cost of running ect

    • Steve Sammartino · August 8, 2010

      Agree, but the interactions should only be happening if it is creating value for both parties.


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