EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

The publishing and media sector - what future?

Sector Futures provides specialised reports based on the monitoring of existing foresight studies, scenario work, innovation studies and reliable data sources. July 2004 features the third article in the series on the future of the publishing and media sector. It focuses on policy issues for the future of the sector.

In the 1990s, innovation in information and communication technologies (ICT) looked set to transform traditional publishing and media through more efficient production, new forms of distribution, the entry of new players and much greater choice for consumers.

Looking back to this period, the European economy was growing strongly with continuing investment in ICT, the growth of the Internet and television distribution. ‘New media’ became the buzzword. But with the dot.com crash followed by the meltdown in the telecoms sector and the general economic downturn, what is the future for publishing and media?

From defining the trends and drivers…

The first feature, The future of publishing and media (pdf 75 kb), provides a snapshot of the publishing and media sector, focusing on some of the driving forces that will map its future.

…to searching a realistic future

The second article in this series, In search of a realistic future (pdf 182 kb), looks in more detail at the trends and drivers that futures research has identified as being influential. Following a study on the future of UK publishing, the article groups drivers shaping the future of the sector into four areas: lifestyle, work, technology, and economy. It then examines in greater depth some of the scenarios that have been defined for publishing and media.

Policy implications

The third and last article in the publishing and media series, Publishing and media: Balancing the interests of producers and consumers (pdf 187 kb), focuses on policy issues for the future of the sector. Its objective is not to propose policy per se, but rather to stimulate dialogue and debate about policy alternatives regarding publishing and media and their future. Since innovation in publishing and media is closely intertwined with innovation and adoption of ICT, this final feature also provides a brief summary of EU programmes and policy responses relevant to the ICT sector.

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