When Mark Zuckerberg walked towards the stage at Samsung’s Mobile World Congress event in early 2016, one of the most discussed technology innovations became very real: Virtual Reality. Over the past years virtual reality seemed to be around the corner as the next big thing in media consumption. Suddenly, it arrived.
No matter if it is augmented reality, implemented by Google Glass or Microsoft Hololens, or full fledged virtual reality, implemented by Facebook’s Oculus Rift, it seems clear that many major corporations are investing heavily in what they consider to be the future.
Apart from some very few media corporations such as The New York Times, who experimented with VR with a specific mobile application, most publishing companies have not yet committed to the VR trend. In fact many publishers still seem to struggle with the transition from print to digital media. Not only are they struggling to establish working business models for their websites, they also seem to be behind on the shift to mobile media as well.
With the ongoing acceleration of the technological revolution this is yet another reason to worry about the media and news industry in general. If these companies keep moving at an old economy pace, it is doubtful they can keep up with current developments. The next big thing might be around the corner even before they start to adapt to then already outdated technologies.
No matter if they are trying to protect their current business as long as possible or if they are just afraid of the future, there is no time to wait any longer. Since the exponential acceleration of the technological development is a fact, publishers should start facing the digital future without fear if they want to survive.
DISCLAIMER: This post has been written for the seminar “Online and Mobile Media” during an international research exchange at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney, Australia, within the “Next Media” master program at the University of Applied Sciences Hamburg (HAW Hamburg) in 2016. For more information or any questions please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.