In the war to win the consumer’s attention traditional media is steadily losing ground to new media platforms; which are distributed and consumed digitally, are ubiquitous with the explosive uptake of smart internet connected devices and provide interconnections amongst platforms, devices and even consumers. New media is changing the balance of power in the media landscape from media businesses to media consumers, who now have unlimited choices available to them from which they can decide on what, when, where and how to consume content. So from the traditional outlook of ―mass media‖ there is a transition happening towards ―my media‖ which provide personalised experiences to consumers.
The purpose of this study is to contribute to the discussion on how consumer control is changing the media landscape by applying the dichotomy of push vs. pull in media consumption. The study sought to explore if with increasing consumer empowerment, the consumer instead of passively relying on content push from media businesses is now actively pulling content to fulfil his/her individual needs.
The study was qualitative and exploratory in nature and utilised in depth and semi structured interviews of media consumers and experts to understand in how the role of the consumer is changing in the media landscape, the factors influencing the change, how the empowered consumer is effecting changes in the way he/she consumes content and media business response to the empowered consumer
The study empirically established that consumer control is definitely on the rise in media consumption with consumers preferring to pull content as per their liking. Furthermore it was empirically validated that consumers from lower income levels were as much in control and pulling content as consumers from higher income levels which is a significant departure from the literature. The study also found that even though media businesses acknowledge consumer control in media consumption their response to it is applying certain tactics without any accompanying change in strategies and business models.
The study recommended that for media businesses to stay relevant in the age of consumer control and the accompanying content pull; they need to be more customer centric in their approach where they design their strategies and business models by being consumer focussed and trying to fulfil their needs.