This paper examines six emerging trends in media and communications, which highlight that consumers are increasingly using personalised access pathways to communications and content services that cut across different networks, devices and services.
The ACMA monitors industry and consumer data to identify changes in the media and communications environment and their impact on regulatory settings. Previous ACMA research, such as Broken concepts1 and the Emerging issues2 series of papers, has identified areas of regulatory strain resulting from changes in this environment. The ACMA’s 2014 data collection program highlighted six further trends that are of particular interest as they indicate challenges to the regulatory frameworks within which the ACMA works. These trends illustrate how developments in communications device technologies and over-the-top (OTT) services and content offer both:
- new opportunities for businesses and individuals as consumers and citizens
- potential challenges to confident and optimal use of these new services.
The evolving media and communications environment offers new ways to understand and achieve policy objectives, and may expose alternatives to ’black-letter’ regulation.
However, changes in media and communications can also strain the effectiveness and efficiency of existing regulatory settings designed in an environment where content and communication services have been delivered by network owners over dedicated networks and devices. The selected trends highlight that consumers are increasingly using personalised access pathways to communications and content services that cut across different networks, devices and services. This paper looks at the implications of these six trends for existing regulatory settings.