1) The Internet is Open. Thus the media companies can not maintain control. Also, I will add to Graham’s note that the technology is so cheap and accessible that anyone can gain access to the tools used to create the media. Its not just about distribution and promotion on the internet. Its about a level playing field with cheap tools.
2) Moores Law (i.e. you could have seen this coming). In 1980, just as home computers were first hitting the consumer markets, Moores law was already kicking right along (this was described in 1965). It would have been easy to calculate a long time ago what year processing and bandwidth speeds would be fast enough to handle images, audio, then video, etc. A missed opportunity from a long time ago.
3) Piracy. Basically, if you open up a 24hr food market and leave behind a sign that says “Honor system, please pay machine for what you take” , in no time at all, your store will be empty and most it will be gone unpaid for. Its uncivilized, wrong and unjust it seems, but don’t forget…people are just a bunch of wild animals so don’t try to fight that. Try to find a way to work with it.
4) Social Networking. People are moving towards being connected on computers via the Facebooks and Twitters of the world, not so much via TV. People want to be where they can connect and be social with each other. This is the most important aspect of what humans really want.
5) To expand on Graham’s fourth point, into what I’m suggesting as a fifth point, beyond just social activity, we also have a lot more options for activity in general in our lives. Its much easier to find ways to fill it up with enjoyment, besides sitting at home silent and pacified in front of a unidirectional TV program.