Offered a Lateral Job in Media, What Would You Do?
With hiring at Spotify slowing while Netflix sheds a few with the same concerns, media companies like Cameo and Outside are announcing layoffs, reminding us that our world is no more resistant to others when it comes to a recession. And yet, what we can appreciate is that there is always demand for innovation and media — that, when one niche struggles, another might thrive.
Two notable employers came to my attention when I was asked for advice about changing jobs…
“Currently working at Meta and have been offered a new lateral move (no pay increase) but have also interviewed and been offered a slightly more senior role at Disney Streaming. Approx 13% pay increase. Focus is on scaling Disney+
Very cool question, frankly, regardless of your personal circumstances, here we’re taking two major media companies (brands) and seriously considering them next to one another.
What you do when considering a lateral move in media, is mix perception with a dose of reality.
People think Facebook (Meta) is building THE Metaverse. People are wrong of course, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is perception and just as people perceive the metaverse is thanks to Facebook’s rebranding, people also perceive that Facebook (and often Facebook alone) is doing bad things to them in social media; now building this metaverse thing, which most don’t really understand, or they think it’s a Web3, NFT, crypto play.
Neither of those circumstances are ideal for Facebook (or Meta). Those are perceptions but in weighing a job change, particularly in the very public world of media brands, perceptions matter greatly.
These perceptions will weigh on Meta because the company, and Mark, are the new target of Governments and Politicians. Governments are on the attack (for no real genuine reason, frankly) because people are suspicious; and when people think there is a problem, Politicians will rally to fabricate a problem they can solve, to win votes and support.
This creates a chink in the corporate/brand armor, meaning too that other companies and even startups/investors, will race in to get a piece out of it.
Some Web3 things have raised hundreds of million dollars to decentralize social media, for example (recent crypto collapse aside, the fact that it happened is what matters). And the existing VR/Metaverse world has aggressively gone at pointing out how far behind Facebook is.
Perception OR reality is irrelevant, our perceptions of Meta present some challenges that one should weigh in considering jobs.
How much of that perception is reality?
- Yes, companies and governments are killing off tracking that is the cornerstone of Facebook revenue
- Yes, social media alternatives are booming
- Yes, “Facebook” was the target of political attention, which no doubt played a part in their rebranding as Meta
- Microsoft is argued by many to be the certain bet for the future of Metaverse (they have half a billion from the U.S. DoD for HoloLens plus then own all the most popular Metaverse kind of games, besides Fortnite). Facebook has a world circa 2005 technology, buggy concerts, and a lot of attention and criticism
So, love or hate Facebook, appreciate how you can (and should) weigh perceptions and realities when it comes to jobs.
Now, as asked, compare this to Disney
Disney is like the Teflon coating of the cancel culture because regardless of any slight, or even actually wrong that Disney does (and they do, they mishandled Mandalorian casting, they messed up their LGBT position, etc.), people see and LOVE their brands, not their Executives, and people will always love and support Mickey.
Who doesn’t want to go to Disney World?? Have you seen what they’re inventing to make Star Wars real?? And Disney+ is the *must have* subscription for every family in the world.
Problems? Yeah. COVID and PR mistakes have messed with the Parks. Bad decisions about Socially Conscious issues are just wrong.
But will that ruin Disney? Hell no. No one wants Disney ruined, and you can’t say the same thing about Facebook (be honest).
Disney+ OWNS the most valuable library of content ever. Streaming is the present and future of media consumption which means not only is Disney in a better position, Disney+ can’t fail and will only be more and more successful. They can grow into steaming music, Metaverse, and crypto/NFTs (whatever that might really mean) and people WILL want it.
Bloomberg’s Lucas Shaw “Media companies have already committed to spending money for this year. While Disney cut $1 billion from the 2022 budget, it will still spend $7 billion more than a year ago. Netflix isn’t going to stop releasing an endless barrage of new shows just because it is off to a slow start.”
- now, an aside, or clarification.
Despite what seems like criticism or favoritism on my part, make no mistake, I actually LOVE Facebook.
I work in this business.
Facebook has been villainized. Unfortunately. They’re the big target, people don’t truly understand social media or monetization, and they pivot their brand name to something else that hasn’t yet worked well (the Metaverse has been around since about 2003).
Personally, Facebook isn’t actually doing anything untoward or wrong, as a platform, but people don’t know that! And even if people generally agreed with my sentiment, Politicians and competitors are on the attack rendering facts rather irrelevant.
I’m attempting to help you think through this pragmatically.
Facebook MAY come through this successfully, but they won’t come through it unscathed. They’re taking punches and the competition in the space they’re moving into, is FAR more capable and funded, than social media competition.
Disney WILL come through this successfully and they will still and always be a popular and beloved brand. They are getting some deserved punches, but people want them to course-correct those mistakes and be the Disney we all love. They don’t have meaningful competition, and even if some tried, they still wouldn’t have meaningful competition because you can’t compete with the Parks and things like R2D2 and Minnie Mouse.
If it were me, telling myself in hindsight what to do, I’d make the move, if only because it would make your resume, experiences, and career that much more interesting ?? We say that recessions are the best time to start startups, they’re also great times to make a move in your career.
Originally published at https://mediatech.ventures on June 20, 2022.