Change is a bogeyman. Change is, in many peoples’ eyes, a circle of Hell even Dante couldn’t fathom. Business models are crumbling. For years, the print business thought of advertising as gravy because the subscription revenue was so lucrative. Charge for the content – what people will pay for it covers the cost of distribution. Things were going along quite well. Until they changed.
The television business didn’t need the subscription business because the advertising alone paid all the bills. In fact, networks paid their affiliates to distribute the content to assure a steady stream of eyeballs. Well, at least until cable came along and turned that model on its head. Yep. Things changed. Now, let’s get paid for the content by the distributors. Like print, advertising was a second revenue stream – the fees cable operators paid for the content was the real dough. You can see how that turned out every time you watch “ESPN on ABC.” Game, set, match.
Then came along a pipe that ended up in every home. Eventually it will end up in every handset too. It can distribute the print content faster and without the cost of printing. And, oh yes – it can add video or just sound to the text and images that were never part of the print producer’s mix. TV? Well, that business model is cracking too. See, the pipe can be used to read a magazine, listen to radio, watch TV. The gatekeepers? Gone. Your old business models? Vamoosed!
Scary? Nah. You may think everything is broken in the media world. Ha! I think it’s all been fixed. People are more engaged then ever before. With the content. With each other. With the advertisers, or at least the ones that speak with them instead of at them.
Don’t be afraid. All that’s happened is your paradigm shifted. But all is well. Audeinces still crave content. Advertisers still crave audiences. Let’s have some fun and figure it out!