The media landscape has changed more in the past twenty years than in the previous century. Generation Y, or Millennials as they are known to many in the media, are consuming and creating culture differently than any generation before them. Video streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, mobile application-based information and culture sources like Snapchat, and music streaming services like 8tracks and Spotify are changing the face of the media landscape — and this is just the beginning.

Video Streaming

Video streaming providers began disrupting the traditional cable TV and DVD market years ago, and they were so effective that entire movie rental franchises went out of business and cable companies were forced to radically rethink their entire service package structure. Now they’ve moved into creating their own content — companies like Netflix and Amazon are producing popular and critically acclaimed series that can be streamed from home without even owning a TV. Changes in show and movie consumption habits have allowed this strategy to succeed beyond the companies’ wildest dreams.

Mobile Application News

Back when commentators were worried about internet blogs and 24 hour a day cable news shows killing the viability of newspapers, panic alarms were sounding across the news and information industry. Now those worries seem almost quaint. Snapchat and other mobile platforms have begun curating news and information content for their users, and this content is incredibly powerful precisely because it is often the only news that millions of subscribers see every day. Social media influencers come from all walks of life — for every student exerting a positive influence on kids interested in science, there is a brain dead ‘celebrity’ spouting nonsense about false news. The media landscape is certainly becoming more democratic, but is that a good thing for information quality?

Music Streaming

Finally, music streaming services such as Spotify have been talked about ad nauseum, from every possible angle. Millennials are paying streaming services to act as middle men between them and artists, and artists themselves, songwriters, and music industry officials are suffering. However, the model is unlikely to change any time soon, particularly because of the quality of the product it offers to its users: millions of hours of music, for an extremely low price.

The entertainment and media options available to Millennials are innumerable, but the search for quality has only become more difficult. If the last ten years are any indication, though, we will barely recognize the current media landscape in 2025.


Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Rachelle knows that an online master’s of electrical engineering can help prepare you for a great career. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.