Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fate is Sealed for the Big Media Dinosaurs


Gannett Company, the largest U.S. newspaper publisher, posted a 33 percent decrease in third-quarter profit as print advertising spiraled lower, reflecting an industry-wide malaise that has persisted for three years -- and said it would suspend monthly revenue reports indefinitely due to the volatility of digital advertising trends.

All of the legacy Big Media companies -- in television, radio and print -- have suffered from the continued fragmentation of their once captive mass-media audience.

The old model relied on "restraint of trade" as the basis for protecting profit margins. With the advent of the Internet and the Web 2.0 phenomenon -- an enabler of low-cost multimedia distribution -- the disruption has neutered the "gatekeepers of access" to the marketplace.

The bulls that fathered the concentration of media ownership ironically ensured that the flawless execution of their strategy would lead to the eventual extinction of the herd. The government's willing relaxation of media ownership rules merely aided the process of aggregating this doomed interbred species.

The result: media barons are being humbled by media entrepreneurs (previously known as mere consumers) who now collaborate together to create more interesting, more authentic and often more thought-provoking content.

The inability to adapt to change, while clinging to the old model, has sealed the fate of the once dominant Big Media companies. It's the natural process of evolution. Let the dinosaurs die. Long live Micro Media.