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On Media: Changing of the Guard

December 15, 2011

So it’s that time of year when everyone starts making their predictions (I just made mine on previous blog post), reminiscing on the year that was, and looking ahead to what’s next.

For big business, it’s no different, and every year at this time shareholders start to assess what change is needed for their companies to succeed. In media, that calling is more pressing than ever, as media companies and their shareholders continue to grapple with the unspoken realisation that readership and advertising of traditional media will continue to decline, and that no single media company anywhere in the world has figured out what exactly to do about that.

For many of these behemoths, they are still highly profitable, fantastic companies sitting on large cash reserves that can’t secure any new investment (why would you invest in a company that has little to no growth in its future), and face the ongoing prospect of their profitability dwindling year after year.

In a very real business sense, this makes you consider where you stand on Euthanasia in business. You don’t need to sift through many motivational posters before you come across one that says ‘quit while you’re ahead’.

I’m not pretending I have the answer to any of this either, by the way. Every media executive in the world is searching for the silver bullet that will open up a long term future for media companies.

As social media discovery and recommendation engines start to recommend products and services to people based on the insights that big data and the social graph can provide about them, there’s a limited shelf life for the future of advertising revenues, which from distant memory, make up something like 80% of revenue for Australian newspapers alone.

And, getting to the point – we’ve already seen the start of Australia media companies making changes in order to find that silver bullet:

Now that’s only a few, but none of those folk are deadbeats, and none of them are small moves.

Expect to see more changes in early 2012 as traditional publishers try and find a profitable future of media, advertising, and good journalism.

Deliriant Isti Romani – These Romans are crazy!

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One Comment
  1. I expect that the future of publishing will have to resemble what I am slowly pulling together in my traditional letterpress interest.

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