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A fragmented media space will eventually balance out

August 26, 2010

This blog was previously posted on my old blog page on August 22, 2010.

I recently had need (and the time) to update details across various public profiles and applications, and after trying to remember various combinations of sites, applications, and then logins & passwords, I realised just how fragmented the market has become.

In an average month, I find myself, along with countless others, Twittering, Facebooking, keeping a professional profile on LinkedIn, occasionally updating this blog, keeping up with the news, keeping up with the industry news, and I even recently signed up with Foursquare – but wait, Facebook Places is about to be added to the list too as soon as it comes to Australia!

So just when we had finally mastered the art of moving house and getting Australia Post to forward all our old mail for us, we find ourselves in the same situation – but in the digital space.

Now it’s not like I’ve only just realised this of course; I’ve spent the last 10 years working both with and for big media publishers that know their content is valuable – but just can’t make a profit from it in a world where every man and his dog has a social media application or some whizzbang content aggregator they’ve built.

So from the publisher side – the big players are finding it tough to stay ahead of the game because the little guys with the ideas are much more agile. The little guys though – are much too small to have the sales and distribution networks that could create a viable revenue stream in the first place.

The ones that do break through – get snapped up by the big guys anyway, like Australia’s Andrew Lacy who made a great series of mobile games only to be bought out and signed up by Disney as soon as he started to do well.

My theory

Well it may be completely devoid of research (it’s Sunday afternoon and I have a roast to cook!) but there’s a healthy dose of experience here – at some stage the garage banders with their brilliant ideas are going to realise there’s limited opportunity and a glut of other similar ideas on the marketplace all vying for the same niche. It all comes back to the one simple concept: he who produces the content has the best opportunity to develop, implement and profit from these good ideas as a media publisher. Niche mobile and other digital applications will continue to provide great ideas for publishers to draw from, but ultimately as the battleground becomes more and more competitive – we’ll see more and more of these great ideas fade to black as the big guns get back ahead of the game.

Don’t believe me? Watch and see what happens in 2010. In the meantime I’ll spend some time doing some real research and maybe come back with an update soon.

Deliriant Isti Romani – These Romans are crazy!

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