Thanks to powerful user-created content platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, anyone can be a content creator and distributor. These platforms have centralized immense power by controlling and monetizing user-created content, reaping billions of dollars in ad revenue and shifting the outcomes of national elections across the U.S. and Eastern Europe.
Platforms like Facebook decide what we see and don't see at a granular level, choosing when to show us the content our own social communities and family members are creating. So, while we are less reliant on major studios, networks, and pipelines to distribute and consume content, the power of media has not decentralized; it has shifted.
Decentralization can be defined as any process that removes a major intermediary, but as we have said before, it can't just move control from one centralized party to another, which is pretty much the story of media on the web.
The Flow of Capital
Based on numbers compiled by White & Case, global private equity investments in the media sector continued to trend lower in 2017. The total global deal volumes were slightly down to $19.6B compared to to the $20.23B levels registered in 2016. However, the number of deals were up to 142 in 2017 relative to the 124 disclosed deals in 2016. PE investment in media rebounded in 2017 in both North America and the EU. In North America, investments were up nearly 60 percent and EU investments more than doubled during the same period. Asian PE investments declined sharply in 2017 to $3.98B from the historically high level of $11.08B reached in 2016.