At the moment we’re in the same place as the American rail barons where just before the automobile, it’s cousin the lorry and airplanes took a lot of business from them.
Strategic Mistake By The Rail Barons
The reason those barons lost their massive market share was because they thought they were in the rail business, when in fact they were in the transport business. And if they’ thought in that strategic way they would have been keeping an eye on emerging companies that they could buy into and help grow to maintain their share of the market.
Are Newspapers Dying?
There’s been a lot of gloom about the figures that show the local newspapers are making massive losses, or simply going out of business. Consequently they’re losing advertising. TV is going the same way.
Twitter has demonstrated with the Internet pipe cuts in Asia and the River Hudson plane crash that it is capable of breaking news significantly faster than any mainstream newspaper or other news media.
Communication Media Is Evolving
Newspapers are using blogs, journalists are using Twitter but there seems to be no strategy in place that really understands and appreciates that news media, in fact publishing and broadcasting, as we know it now is changing.
And the issue for news media as it’s currently set-up is that if they continue to stick with what they know they risk losing out to the newcomers to their industry of global news and entertainment.
Those newcomers started with blogs and social media to communicate with people who are interested in what they say. And that includes up to the minute news.
There may be a place for extended pieces on the news itself. However, in our increasingly fragmented communication world I’m beginning to think that we just feel we don’t have the time to spend time reading in-depth reviews of anything.
That means marketing is looking for new ways of getting the message to prospects and customers. And love it or loathe it Twitter is one mechanism that enables people to put across a reasonably lucid message without over complicating it with “business-speak” or “marketing-speak.”
Newspapers Will Limp Along
So the question is will newspapers die? Like I said before I think that’s probably unlikely as some will stick to print media for a while yet for more extensive review pieces and out of habit. However, as the current generation weaned on fast computers from birth continue to move into the mainstream workplace newspapers will be replaced by access to news and entertainment that you want -along the lines of choosing specific pages from a newspaper to read and ignoring the rest.
And what I said for newspapers applies to other media too. Rather than being a broadcast media it will evolve and become a “menu media” where people select what they want to read, see or hear.
Is that too radical a view? I wonder, what do you think?