Is media content the new tech?

You may have seen Apple’s ‘Behind the Mac’ advert that aired a few months ago. It featured, among many others, Oprah Winfrey, Malala Yousafzai, Serena Williams, Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl – and even Kermit the Frog.

However, the most interesting thing about this advert was what it didn’t do. It didn’t promote a new iPhone or Apple Watch, or in fact any new hardware at all.

As iPhone sales stagnate, this advert marks Apple’s shift to producing and streaming media content. Along with Disney, who have confirmed similar intentions, they’ll be joining the likes of Netflix and Amazon in creating their own original media content… to the tune of billions of dollars.

How does that affect PQ readers?

Apart from a plethora of new shows to enjoy (when you’re not studying, of course), growing investment in media content is raising expectations about the quality and ease of access to our online learning experience. The more we become accustomed to viewing high-quality movies and TV programmes on fast servers with an interesting user interface – and on any device – the more we will demand this from our educational experience, too.

Colleges and training providers are recognising and reacting to this change. Many of you will have seen significant improvements in your online learning experience, and will be lucky enough to have tutors who can use content and tech effectively when they teach. At Mindful Education, we’re leading the charge when it comes to blending media-rich online content with regular face-to-face accounting classes at our college partners – an approach we believe provides the best of both worlds for learners.

With our lives lived increasingly online, it is content – rather than tech – that looks set to become king. Tellingly, Pearson, the world’s largest education company, recently announced that it will be phasing out textbooks completely as it seeks to digitalise all its content for users.

If you’re at the start of your accounting education, or are planning to continue your studies for a few years, you’re set to experience a sea-change in the way you learn and, thanks to some big names, the quality of your online learning experience.

• Mark Mckenna is the founder and managing director of Mindful Education