You can sort-of fake remember the headline – “Sales of Slide Rules Forecast to Drop Dramatically.” (I think I just made up that “fake remember” notion, by the way). A gloomy forecast that hides good news – “Sales of Calculators Skyrocket” because they’re a better solution (and I’m old enough to have used a slide rule in school – not fun). I bring this up because there’s another instance of this today.
Carat, the media agency, is forecasting a big drop in global and U.S. advertising. Buried in the story is the growth of on-line. Yes, that would be bad news for a number of media folks – those that have built their business models on single revenue streams (broadcast TV, radio) or on hard to measure delivery (newspapers, cable TV). It’s even worse news for those whose balance sheets demand that revenue go up to pay off debt.
But the pony in the pile of manure is that media is getting smarter, more accountable, and more efficient. Maybe the decline is due to the economy but there’s a part of me that thinks it’s due to Mr. Wanamaker’s famous 50% waste being cut back a bit.
I could go off on a rant here about media generally looking for bad news instead of focusing on what’s good but I guess it’s fair to say that the decline will affect way more entities and individuals that will the growth. Of course, the other good news is that my former brethren in broadcasting know all this and have been proactive in broadening their businesses to find revenue streams in the digital side, something we began doing 15 years ago. Forewarned is forearmed!
What do you think? Disaster or evolution? Stupid economy or smart marketers?