Joel Espelien

Game Over

AT&T emerged victorious from its courtroom battle with the Department of Justice. What this means for the future of TV:

Fair but Unequal

[Commentary] What the rollback of net neutrality rules actually mean for the US Internet ecosystem over the next several years? 1. Blatant Discrimination Against Particular Services Is Not That Likely; 2. Blatant Favoritism Of Particular Services Is Quite Likely; and 3. Different Tiers Of Services Based On Ability To Pay Is Overwhelmingly Likely. The result will not be blatant discrimination and censorship of the Internet (which most Americans will not tolerate). Nope.

The Decline and Fall of Establishment Media

[Commentary] I’ve been thinking about what Trump’s unlikely rise and even more unlikely victory (and the way he got there) tells us about the future of TV. The establishment got beat up pretty bad (again) on multiple levels, and all of us who work in media need to start paying closer attention.

The Old Media Establishment Lost: The 2016 election shows just how little power and influence the mainstream media actually have.
The Advertising Establishment Lost: Trump ran no ads in the primary election and very few ads in the general election. His campaign was an exercise in frugality. The few TV ads he did run were forgettable and widely panned. The RNC spent very little money on his behalf.
The New Media Establishment Lost: Well, if it wasn’t old media and it wasn’t advertising, Trump must have won the new media battle. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Establishment institutions have experienced significant declines in their ability to influence behavior on a mass level. This is true of our politics and news, but increasingly of our entertainment, as well. Every media brand that relies on traditional advertising or rests on establishment foundations must ask whether the brand authority and credibility it attributes to itself is in fact real, or just the echo of dying paradigms.