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Beware Those Who Say New Media Model Has Fully Emerged

It hasn't; meanwhile, prognosticators causing industry panic.

Tony Silber By Tony Silber
02/17/2009 -11:09 AM

I read Simon Dumenco's column yesterday (via Bob Sacks' newsletter). Simon writes for Ad Age and used to write for FOLIO:. He's a valuable observer of the media scene.

The column is the best he's written. He hit the nail on the head in so many ways:

  • The fact that this feels much worse than 1991 and 2001.
  • The fact that, as Nick Denton says, it's extinction time.
  • The notion that this really might be the end of MSM as we know it.
  • The arrogance of the Huffington Posts of the world that think they can create meaningful journalism for free—by treating their writers with contempt.
  • The staleness of the 12-year-old debate on micropayments.
  • And, really, the sense of no one having the answers.

It's something I tried to touch on here.

The shape of the media landscape after this period ends—and it will, eventually—is really not apparent now. Instead, we have all kinds of prognosticators thrashing around like a panicked stampeding herd. It's those who don't panic, who adjust costs early, who attempt to innovate, that have the best chance of survival.

The new media model has not fully emerged. It might be right in front of us, but no one recognizes it yet. Who would have thought, five or six years ago, that when presented with the option of downloading a song for free on a file-sharing service versus paying $1 for it on iTunes, over time, people would see iTunes as the preferred method?

A side note: I tried to post a comment to Dumenco's column on the Ad Age Web site, but, quite frankly, it's an annoying process. You need to register to post a comment-and registering means providing all kinds of information, like your street address, your company name, your industry, your job title (twice), etc.—what an incredible disincentive to engage with Ad

Whoever dreamed up that idiotic policy on comments ought to be lampooned in one of Simon's columns.


Tony Silber By Tony Silber --

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