Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Time Warner Chief Doesn't Get It - The New Media Universe

Kate has a piece - Not surprising that the CEO of a company with it's feet firmly in the Status Went thinks these web whippersnappers are destined to be surrounded by Big Media indians and slaughtered to the last man.
Let's look at an alternative possibility.
There are three pieces to media - content, distribution and audience.
Distribution is technology and McLuhan in "The Medium is the Message" described how a society is defined by its means of communication, not by its content. The Internet is defining our society - traditional media is the Pony Express. When did you last send a fax or telex or even mail a letter?
Big Media has relied on big budgets to develop or acquire content - news and entertainment. They then charge advertisers to pay the tab. But they have failed to think about the most efficient way to distribute this content. And they've forgotten that news can now be readily gathered by a kid looking out his window in, say, Iran, and added to the global news inventory instantly.
They haven't considered a universe where tens of millions of amateur movie makers can produce material, post it and collectively have billions of viewers.
And they haven't thought about how all this will be monetized.
The eventual formula will allow the creators of new content to put their pieces up for bid to internet distributors. They'll get micro-fees for this on the basis of number of users. At a production cost of close to zero.
The distributors will in turn micro-fee this to hundreds of thousands of viewers - for maybe 3 cents a view.
These transaction will happen billions of times a day, creating an entirely new industry that surpasses the old tired one. Old media won't die (radios are not dead yet) but it will be dwarfed.
Is there still a demand for buggy whips?

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