“For all the apocalyptic news about newspapers, there’s a distinction worth making: Newspaper owners are far more endangered than the medium itself.”
It’s important to realize that media is booming right now. What’s broken is the system where crusty old men take the piles of cash they already had and make more piles from printing and distributing media. Of course part of the fallout here is that most of the media that’s being made right now doesn’t make any money. That will change. Nobody said reinventing the wheel would be easy.
Aric Mayer has a good recap of the publishing crisis (here) where you can clearly see how the decision publishers made to put all their eggs in the advertising basket is now going to cost them dearly. After all those years of watering down their product to attract a more general audience, lowering the subscription rate to boost numbers and producing pathetic advertiser friendly content it seems that most magazines not only no longer have loyal readers but now the advertisers are gone too.
If that’s not enough, in what amounts to a perfect storm for publishing all these laid off editors, writers and photographers will be creating original content with their free time:
Web-only news sites started by recently unemployed journalists– Media Shift
The tide will be turning quickly for small, independent, efficient content producers. The first bit of good news comes from Advertising Age (here):
“In the past several months, there has been increasing evidence that the most easily measured metric on the web, the click, is not the right metric to use for many advertisers. And that’s good news for publishers struggling to monetize their content with online ads.”
With the news that San Francisco will soon be without a major daily newspaper (here) some see a smoldering crater, I see thousands of tiny saplings starting to take root.