I want it. I want it first. I’m not concerned with it being completely accurate as long as I am the first to share it and gain some positive reinforcement.

Welcome to modern media consumption. Every day, the traditional disseminators within the media industry feel more pressure to deliver content first– allowing them to feed on it like ravenous wolves so they can regurgitate it to their friends and live off the resulting social admiration.

In order to keep up with this “demand” organizations like Google and Wikipedia have decided to simply take all the information mankind knows, digitize it, and make it available to anyone with a device.

People no longer want to wait for the next issue of a magazine they profess to subscribe to if an online source can collect and curate similar articles and satiate their need to be in the know. Think Flipboard. Articles from every source on the planet are delivered based on a single keyword selection. With sources and their reputations as varied as they come. From traditional, one-time reputable, news sources to a random blog post on some obscure site that happens to pontificate on the same topic. The result is the same – the audience is deciding when and how they will accept their media.

In the era of the data revolution, never again will the relationship of data/information gatherers and disseminators to the consumers of information be the same. In this day and age everyone using chat rooms, social media or blog contributions is an empowered editor-in-chief.

What can a media company bring to the table in this data age?

The answer to that question is simple: its audience. The modern media company needs to leverage its community and audience – cultivated by timely communications of relevant information in the forms desired and demanded – which can only be successfully accomplished through the use of actionable data. In today’s modern media landscape, every member of your audience is on dozens, hundreds, maybe even thousands of “lists”. They visit hundreds of websites. They live on Google and Google dominates the media’s digital ad dollars. So in today’s world, what is it that distinguishes your brand from the crowd? The answer is your audience relationships and the ability to leverage them on behalf of your clients. And what joins them to your audience and what keeps them returning to your brand is data. Your data makes your audience. Every member of your audience uses Google but you’re involving them in your brand or industry’s dialogue making them members of your community and that’s what you are really selling. And that’s what no one else can compete with, not even Google.