iSentia boss Ed Harrison (Image: Supplied)

Yesterday’s announced cut-price takeover of one of Australia’s few home-grown media companies, iSentia (now a “sharemarket train wreck”, says last week’s AFR), reflects equally the globalisation and decline of the media monitoring and insights industry.

It’s now up to the United Kingdom's Access Intelligence to fight off iSentia’s emerging competition, manage the complexity of monitoring social media, and satisfy the demands from increasingly impoverished traditional media owners for the use of their content. Current iSentia CEO Ed Harrison will stay on at least for the transition in ownership.

And right now there’s an added challenge: as news media is increasingly hidden behind paywalls, what access can monitors provide their clients -- and what should they pay for it? That’s wrapped into the bunfight in the Copyright Tribunal between the old media companies and iSentia, and global newcomer Meltwater.