Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Old Media Still Has Power

Old Media (newspapers, TV networks, etc) still have power, as pointed out by this Treehugger post.

The real question is, for how much longer? When will any newspaper become so unimportant that if they publish an article about something, businesses just ignore it instead of respond to it? Or, will they transform and adjust to currently available technology?

Well, Radio was to have killed Newspaper, but didn't. TV was feared to do them both in, but still hasn't.

Now the internet is supposed to lay waste to all previous forms of distribution? Probably not, atleast not anytime soon. As the more agile of these 'old media' companies start taking advantage of possible revenue-making approaches to current technology (it is not new, the internet has been around for awhile now), they will continue to be relevant. Until the next thing comes out that will destroy all previous forms of media, communication and distribution.

The newspapers, magazines, radio and even TV networks that think that if they do anything other than what they did before they will cease to exist (or not make a profit) seems so strange to some (read young, tech-literati). Looking into history will show you how each of the incumbent adjusted to the newcomer (or failed). Radio adjusted to TV. Radio has even adjusted to the internet (I can find more sources of radio content on the internet than I can broadcast television). Maybe Radio, as an industry, never got into the mind set that it was owed after TV came. It has been adjusting and making changes to try to stay profitable and survive.

As for Newspaper? I am sure that many charts, reports and other business tools keep showing them how much money they are losing. Newspaper seems to have a sense they are owed that revenue, not that they have to produce a product that someone wants. Some have laid blame on the internet for those losses (Rupert Murdoch).

The recent release of two videos shows that some publishers (Sports Illustrated) and others are thinking about how to reproduce magazine content electronically (Bonnier Research and Development). Both of these are a much better response to the internet and widely available internet access than the blame someone or try to legislate protection for your industry against newer technologies.

I hope more companies try to leverage newer technology for their benefit and to make their customer happy. Making your customer unhappy usually leads to bad things (see music industry and file sharing before iTunes Music Store).

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