Consumer interaction with content used to be a straightforward process. There was a simple set of delivery vehicles — print, radio, television and film — and an equally defined set of mechanical interfaces, usually consisting of pages, knobs and dials.
Media companies have always needed to determine which format was optimal for specific content, and audiences have always selected the means through which they want to consume it, but the choices were reasonably limited, and favorites quickly emerged.
Advertising was just as established. Through decades of research and insights, effective ad formats were tailored to each medium, giving brands a reliable set of alternatives to draw from; there were only so many ways to modify a print ad or a television spot.
The industry nonetheless sought to improve the consumer-content interaction.