Old Media, Meet The Real Enemy

Sometimes you wonder how radio has been able to buy up everything allowable by law and still come away with a declining business model. Must be that damn iPod, right? You wonder how the mighty TV business can be kicked in the butt by a few 22-year old "kids" who while screwing around invented YouTube. That leads me to the question is traditional media in trouble because of all this new technology and a new hard to tie down generation of interactive monsters? Or are they to blame for their own mess? I'm thinking the old model doesn't work. Take a look. New Internet start ups actually hire people -- lots of people -- sometimes when they aren't even making money. Radio stations cut their staffs. TV stations eliminate their newsrooms. And, local news is their bread and butter. Chalk one up for new media. Traditional media sucks up to Wall Street because, well, they have to. That's the game. Vibrant interactive growth businesses answer to themselves, their peers, their users. New media thrives on innovation. No idea is off the table. The old school adds duties to their existing creative and marketing people's job descriptions and expects them to innovate (but not too much). The Internet is about democracy. Traditional media is about mediocrity. It doesn't have to be. Even non-interactive media can be a growth industry again, but not with their present play book. Look to the young entrepreneurs who are kicking their butts. Disney-ABC says "we understand piracy now as a business model". Now, that kind of thinking is going to even make investors happy. It's the attitude of traditional media that is killing it. Not Gen Y. Not technology.