Interviewed! For discounderworld on Consumer Trends & Media

April 7th, 2009

Stacey Childs of discounderworld (a free monthly digital magazine profiling people from all over the world) interviewed me a while back on the changing consumer trends in relation to the media.

Visit for a copy (it’s free!) or go to the discounderworld blog for a full transcript of the interview.  

I thought I’d pull out a couple of points:

The marketplace for media in general is evolving. What is different from ten years ago, what will be different in ten years?

Media has revolved around distribution. Whoever had the distribution had the market and whoever played the game right could get their content into the distribution. PR agencies are all about leveraging their networks to get your company into this locked distribution channel. The internet has unlocked these tight distribution channels. I have talked about it here:
http://blog.local/the-difference-between-traditional-and-new-media/ and here: http://blog.local/its-happened-to-music-now-for-books/ 

What will it be like in 10 years?

We are talking infinite channels for media. Blogs like PerezHilton are a prime example, not limited to text, photos or even video, they draw all media together. Something newspapers cannot do.

Ten years from now media will be distributed over infinite channels, the world is now a global village, we still consume ‘mainstream media’ but we invest more time in niche interests who deliver video, audio, text, experiences. Conversations are going to be the driving force of how media is distributed, if it’s worth talking about people will spread it. Traditionally all you had to do is overcome the hurdles (book publishers, pr agencies) to get the word out. Word of mouth will be the driving force of this.

We have seen this happen with music, slowly with books (but not yet) and increasingly with the news media. Twitter is a fantastic example of news spreading via conversations. It’s village gossip on a global scale. As Shakespeare would say ‘all the worlds a stage’.

What do you see as the reasons why some print magazines have failed and others have florished? In relation to differences in content, readership, marketing, adaptation to new technologies? (and anything else you think is important)

The number one reason print magazines have failed is the inability to derive significant revenues from their readership. In my opinion once distributions were locked the focus became how can we maximise profit? By changing the focus, journalists report on quantity not quality, advertising revenues are all about maximum dollars (not necessarily maximum value for advertisers). Once journalists start to change their mantra to compelling journalism to rewording press releases they lose their audience. which flows onto advertising and in turn the bottom line. See my blog posts above for more thoughts on this.

Do you think in the future, print magazines will exist? If no, why? If yes, what magazines do you think will be around? What will magazines have to do to still be in demand in say, 10 years?

Newspapers will exist in the future, but not in form we see now. People enjoy the tactile experience of sitting down, having a coffee, reading the paper. However the model needs to change in how newspapers deliver content. I forsee digital papers, where consumers purchase the right to use a newspaper reader, it looks just like a newspaper, feels like a newspaper, yet the content changes daily to reflect the latest news, it notices my interests and modifies the front page according to that. The Sky TV model is the current example I would compare it against. Newspapers will deliver photos, video, audio and combine these into enjoyable experiences for their users.

Those are just some snippets for the full interview click here.  

I have also uploaded my crib notes, which include above, the full interview and anything that may have been cut, rough but straight from the source.

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