When Media Marries Technology

The decline of traditional media so far as been concentrated in radio (due to consolidation), the record business (due to unwillingness to accept new paradigms) and newspapers (inability to picture a newspaper on something other than newsprint). Television is next. It's happening right now. Their clumsy entry into short-clip video via YouTube and their own sites speaks volumes. You know its bad when an episode of Desperate Housewives ends and an announcer asks you if you want more, then directs you to their web site. TV affiliates can't be happy. Compensation is on its way out. The web is a growing alternative competitor. TiVo DVRs are giving advertisers a reason to question the rates they pay. Now TiVo is expanding to Internet-based content later this year so their customers can download videos from the Internet and watch them on their TV sets. All of this without consolidation! In fact, the big media companies want cross ownership and the ability to own larger platforms. It's not likely any of this will help the TV business although it might line the pockets of a few principals and Wall Street types. The next generation likes TV but is not likely to be the same type of rabid viewer as seen in preceding generations. Gen Y has the Internet and that has changed everything. So as I witness the decline of Clear Channel and a radio industry left worse off than consolidation found it, I wonder what will be televisions excuse for giving up its dominant position in media -- a move that is sure to come in my opinion. It's the same old answer that applies to the other struggling media. Failure to understand that TV broadcasters are really content providers not really broadcasters in the sense of the technical. And these TV executives are married to their transmitters, towers and areas of dominant influence. They fail to see themselves as video content suppliers. The first TV company to cross over in their mission to embrace their content producing role will be reborn again -- on the Internet. Fail to do so? Look no further than radio to see what happens when a medium marries its technology and is relegated to the past as sad as it is.