‘Digital Media’ Category Archive

January 15th

Future Of Digital Media: Perfecting Existing Technologies For People On The Web

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A post by Steve Yelvington contemplating the secret of Apple’s success got me thinking again about principles that will drive the next wave off successful digital media companies, in addition to the five principles I wrote about to kick off the year:

January 8th

Do Youth Media Habits Predict The Future Of Media?

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Fred Wilson wrote the other day about what observing his kids’ media habits tells him about the future of media — I’ve has a similar impulse to try to draw insights from observing real young people’s media habits. But is this the best way to predict the future of media? When I was a kid, […]

January 3rd

How Many Journalists Would Go All Digital If They Could?

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Kara Swisher, a veteran Wall Street Journal reporter, who has covered the Silicon Valley boom and bust for the print WSJ newspaper, has announced that she’s gone all digital, i.e. she will be writing exclusively for the All Things Digital web site. Which made me wonder how many other journalists would go all digital if […]

December 28th

Music Recording Industry Will Be First Traditional Media Industry To Be Utterly Destroyed By Digital Technology

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The maxim goes that new technologies don’t kill off old media — radio didn’t kill newspapers, TV didn’t kill radio, etc. But it’s not clear this maxim will hold true in the digital age. The first industry to suffer the slings and arrows of digital technology was the music recording industry, back when MP3s and […]

December 6th

The Future of Print Publishing and Paid Content

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Print is dead and all content wants to be free — two bogeymen of the digital age, with some edge of truth, but based on current visibility, still unlikely at those extremes. But it’s undeniable that the economics of print publishing are very different today than what they were before the web, and more content […]

September 10th

TMZ Does TV But Still Prioritizes the Web

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Nearly every major original content brand that publishes in both analogue and digital started in analogue and then extended to digital — and in nearly all instances, the analog operation took priority, which made sense given that the newspaper, magazine, TV show, etc. was generating most of the revenue and profit. That balance of power […]

August 26th

Bookstores Begin Slow Descent Into Obsolescence

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I was in Borders Books today looking for a copy of David Weinberger’s Everything Is Miscellaneous, and it suddenly struck me how ironic it was to be looking for a book about dynamic connectedness in this place of static, disconnected objects and finite shelf space. I used to love bookstores — they were magical places […]

August 7th

New York Times To Fold TimesSelect Presaging The Death of Paid Content

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The New York Times has reportedly decided to abandon TimesSelect, its experiment with paid content on the web. This comes as no surprise since the pay wall was controversial, both internally and externally, from the beginning, but it’s even less surprising when you look at the fundamental economics of content in the digital media age […]

August 6th

Publicis/Digitas On All-Digital Advertising, Outsourcing, and Competing with Google Yahoo Microsoft

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Kudos to Publicis Groupe and Digitas for imagining an all-digital advertising future, for planning to solve the deep structural problems of advertising 2.0, and for not sitting still while Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft take over the advertising industry. The most provocative idea to emerge from the New York Times profile of Publicis/Digitas’ digital advertising strategy […]

July 31st

Does Kevin Rose have the Next Big Thing in Social Networking?

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I think Kevin Rose might be on the verge of something big, again. For those not familiar, Kevin is the founder of Digg, the social news aggregator that now boasts over 17 million unique visitors per month… and the latest to get into bed with Microsoft via its sweet ad deal. There is no doubt, […]

July 18th

Newspapers At The Nexus of The Digital Media Revolution

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There are two phenomenon that everyone interested in the future of media should be tracking closely. The first is the iPhone, which is the first breakthrough mobile media device. The second is the transformation of newspapers as they work (REALLY) hard to evolve in a networked, digital media world where they no longer enjoy monopoly […]

June 29th

Non-Digital Media Is Becoming An Anachronism

by  |   5 Comments

Newspapers were once an incredibly efficient means of distributing information. Run huge rolls of newsprint through a printing press and a neat package of news is delivered to every doorstep. But no more. Yesterday I took a river boat cruise on the Potomac river with some visiting family, and was fascinated to hear what the […]

June 18th

Mark Bowden On The Future Of Journalism Online

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Mark Bowden, an Atlantic correspondent and author of Black Hawk Down, has a great piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the future of journalism in the digital age. Here’s an “old fuddy-duddy,” as he calls himself, who has opened his mind to a the future of multimedia journalism in way that puts many newspaper editors […]

June 17th

How Age Matters In Media, Web Services, And Social Networking

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Fred Wilson has been bravely attempting to discuss whether age is a determining factor for successful entrepreneurship — and has been taking it on the chin as a result. As I told Fred in an email, I don’t think he’s come across as being argumentative or dogmatic on the issue at all, it’s just that’s […]

June 12th

Is Text Messaging A Viable Media And Advertising Platform For Older Demographics?

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USA Today announced a partnership with 4INFO, a text message information service, to provide targeted ads via text messages that USA Today readers can request on their cell phones for updated information on sports, stocks, weather and other such data. USA Today concedes that their average 44 year old user isn’t currently a big user […]

June 7th

What Does Making The Transition To Digital Mean For Print Publishers?

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How do print publishers know when they have successfully “made the transition to digital”? Here’s Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons:

June 7th

Murdoch: Pour Money Into Digital, Make Wall Street Journal Free, Don’t Let Google Own The World

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The Wall Street Journal has a fascinating interview with Rupert Murdoch. Here are some choice quotes:

June 1st

Spyware Alert: Are Sites You Visit Spying On You?

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In what may be a not so odd coincidence, I discovered the following two items in the space of five minutes, which made me wonder whether most websites could be fairly accused of “spying” on their users:

May 31st

Bancroft Family Will Consider Dow Jones Sale To News Corp, Driven By Digital Media Revolution

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In a dramatic turnabout, the Bancroft family, which controls Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal, agreed to discuss a sale of the company to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp after initially refusing to do so. There are a number of hints that the turnabout was driven by concern over the future of Dow Jones in […]

May 31st

Popular Mechanics Transforms Magazine Brand Into Digital Media Brand

by  |   7 Comments

Magazines are trying to evolve into digital media brands to stay relevant and vibrant in a digital media world. This evolution in many case includes online video, which is a lot easier said than done — producing video content that creates unique value for readers is not part of the traditional magazine’s core competency. One […]

May 30th

CBS Acquires Last.fm Seeking To Overcome Declining Radio Business

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CBS sure has been walking the walk of a savvy digital media company, with the launch of CBS Interactive Audience Network, the acquisition of WallStrip, and now the acquisition of Last.fm, the popular social music site (maybe this is why Last.fm didn’t have time to launch its application on Facebook Platform). The CBS brand is […]

May 24th

How Well Is Time Inc Managing The Transition To Digital?

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Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore spoke yesterday at a Magazine Publishers of America event and gave evidence that Time Inc. is having some success in digital media — but she gave no evidence (at least none cited in the Ad Age coverage) that this success is compensating for challenges faced by the legacy print business:

May 22nd

Magazine Publishing Businesses Are Portable And Can Be Moved Into Digital

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I’ve been pondering this quote from Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons, dismissing rumors that Time Warner is considering selling off Time Inc.: “I like our publishing business, I like the magazine business and I like the fact that it’s portable and can be moved into digital,” he said. “I am not an advocate of selling […]

May 20th

The Value Of Aggregating Content

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Digital media has unbundled content, disrupting legacy businesses that sell bundled media like albums and newspapers. But that doesn’t mean there is no value in bundling content, as Nick Carr observes in a lyrical deconstruction of David Weinberger’s assertion that the track is the natural unit of music.

March 27th

Confusion Over The Future of Time Warner Is Emblematic

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Since the merger with AOL, Time Warner has been emblematic of the media industry’s struggle to evolve, and it’s now become emblamatic of the tail-chasing confusion over the future of media. I read the following stories about Time Warner back to back (via Forbes and MediaPost): Time Warner shares jumped Monday on hopes that the […]

March 23rd

Why Have No Major Media Companies Invested Heavily In Original Content For The Web?

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Or maybe you know of one that has. If you do, let’s discuss. I’m just curious.

March 21st

Is Content Still A Business?

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Is it possible that the future of the content business is worse than being less profitable and worse even than not scaling anymore — is it possible that content creation will cease to be a business? I was struck by this quote from a music business manager in the WSJ article about the complete collapse […]

March 8th

Identity In A Digital World

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I got up to ask a question here at OPA, and I introduced myself as Scott Karp of Atlantic Media and the Publishing 2.0 blog. After the session, someone who I had just introduced myself to earlier came up to me and essentially re-introduces himself, saying, “I didn’t make the connection that you’re THAT Scott […]

December 21st

Silicon Valley vs. Madison Avenue

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If you spend too much time in Silicon Valley you’d think that the technology industry — with Google leading the charge — already owns the future of advertising. But don’t count out Madison Avenue just yet — they may be responsible for perpetuating the imbalance between media time spent online and ad dollars spent online […]

December 8th

Faster Horses and the Fog of 2.0

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Has there ever been an industry that faced as much uncertainty and such low visibility as the media industry? Media executives have lately taken to throwing up their hands and declaring their uncertainty in public (all emphasis is mine): In the next year or two the media world will begin to figure out what consumers […]

November 27th

Is The Video Content Business Eating Itself Alive?

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Last week the big news was CBS and YouTube crowing that distributing video clips of CBS TV shows through YouTube was (ostensibly) increasing CBS broadcast TV ratings. Today, the big news is that UK viewers who watch online video are watching lest broadcast TV. The online video boom is starting to eat into TV viewing […]

October 15th

Edelman, Wal-Mart and the Loss of Control in Media

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It’s inevitable that a PR firm like Edelman would create a phony blog for one of its clients (in this case Wal-Mart — see Shel Holtz for a great analysis). For all of the hype over “conversation” as the new media paradigm, no one has yet figured out how to use conversation to reliably achieve […]

October 12th

More Evidence That Media 2.0 May Be Less Profitable Than Media 1.0

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There is now macroeconomic data to support the theory that Media 2.0 won’t be as profitable as Media 1.0 (from MediaPost): In a break from historical patterns, the equities research team at Merrill Lynch says the rate of advertising price inflation now trails the overall rate of economic inflation. “Interestingly, advertising growth seems to be […]

September 25th

The State of OMMA: Making It Up As We Go Along

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Rishad Tobaccowala, CEO of Denuo, gets my vote for most honest, “let’s cut out the bullshit” keynote speech. Speaking at the OMMA Conference in New York, Rishad admitted what most media and advertising stalwarts are deeply afraid of conceding: we’re just making this shit up (see his keynote here). The world of media, marketing, and […]

September 19th

JPG Is An Elegant Publishing 2.0 Play

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What content category benefits greatly from digital, web-based organization and distribution, but is best appreciated offline? If you said art photography, then you understand intuitively why JPG Magazine is such an interesting Publishing 2.0 play. The idea is elegantly 2.0: give the new breed of digital-technology-enabled pro-am photographers a place to showcase their work and […]

September 12th

Will Content Quality Still Be a Driver of Advertising Online?

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Numerous “analysts” (including me) have been predicting that user-generated content sites like MySpace and YouTube, despite their runaway popularity, will not receive all (or even much) of the big brand ad dollars that will be poured into online advertising across the next few years. The reason — advertisers still care about the quality of the […]

September 12th

Everything Is Media: The Real World Edition

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As if it weren’t enough that digital technology has turned everything on your computer, from software to online stores to music, into media — digital technology is rapidly turning everything in the “real world” into media. THE HOTTEST FORM OF DIGITAL media on Madison Avenue isn’t online. It’s out-of-home. Digital out-of-home networks are popping up […]

September 8th

Amazon’s Unbox Video Download Service May Be Good Enough

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Amazon had a choice in creating their Unbox video download service. They could have pleased the small percentage of people who hate DRM and demand cross-platform flexibility by trying to wrestle down the movie studios who demanded strong distribution and rights control. They could have tried to compete with Apple’s forthcoming video download service by […]

August 29th

Everything Is Media: The Digital Music Edition

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As further evidence that technology is turning everything into media, Universal Music announced that it would be backing SpiralFrog, a digital music site that will attempt to transform the music business into a media business by selling advertising rather than charging fees: Universal Music, the world’s largest music company, is backing a start-up that will […]

August 16th

Why Advertise For Free on MySpace When You Can Pay News Corp Instead?

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Flush with confidence after closing a $900 million deal with Google, MySpace is taking on its next challenge — convincing advertisers who have put up brand and product pages on MySpace for free that they should pay for “their space” instead: Now, advertisers say the company is stepping up its efforts to convince big clients […]

August 7th

The Rise of Online Video and the Fall of TV

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I’ve been predicting for a while that the TV advertising house of cards would collapse, and McKinsey just huffed and puffed and predicted (to its big Fortune 100 advertiser clients) that “by 2010, traditional TV advertising will be one-third as effective as it was in 1990″ (from AdAge): That shocking statistic, delivered to the company’s […]

August 1st

It’s the Users Calling…They Want Their Money

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The Guardian observes (via Jeff Jarvis) that YouTube has overtaken MySpace — but here’s the thing — it’s not really YouTube vs. MySpace. It’s user content and community hosted by YouTube vs. user content and community hosted by MySpace. The hosting is besides the point. It’s people like Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz who are […]

July 31st

Who Will Make Money with User-Generated Online Video?

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If you thought the social networking market was frothy, online video is rapidly expanding to fill all the bubble space. Jeff Jarvis observed that YouTube has now surpassed MySpace on Alexa (at least in reach) and speculates on who might buy YouTube — he also invited me to comment, and I’m going to take up […]

July 30th

Inform Enters the Search Economy

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Inform.com has wisely gotten out of the Web 2.0 news aggregator business and into the publisher services business. Erick Schonfeld at the Business 2.0 Blog has the scoop: As readership declines for newspapers and online readership grows, every publisher faces the threat coming from the edge of the network. Sites like Google News, Yahoo News, […]

May 21st

The Unbearable Lightness of 2.0 Business Strategy

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Umair Haque and Jeff Jarvis are engaged in an ontological debate about what constitutes “the edge” and what will ultimately be the winning business strategy at the edge. What struck me about their debate is how little clarity there is on how money will actually be made at the edge — and this despite Umair […]

May 4th

2.0 Business Model Doomsday Scenario

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It’s official — Microsoft is no longer a software company. With the launch of adCenter, Microsoft will be joining the ranks of Google and other media companies: “Ad-supported software services are an integral part of Microsoft’s plans to give consumers access to a broader variety of digital media, whenever they want and on whatever device […]

April 29th

Digital Editions of Print Pubs Are Publisher-Centric

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There are only two plausible reasons to publish a “digital edition” of a print publication, as the New York Times is now doing in partnership with Microsoft: 1. To prop up print advertising revenue by artificially increasing the “print” circulation through “digital distribution” 2. To make a bucket of content, i.e. the print edition, available […]

April 23rd

What If Media 2.0 Is Less Profitable Than Media 1.0?

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The advent of web-based e-commerce fundamentally lowered the costs of doing business, increasing the scalability (and in many cases the viability) of thousands of small businesses. The introduction of micro-marketing through Google AdWords gave a huge jolt to this trend, making marketing scalable and profitable for these same small businesses. Two companies — Google and […]

April 9th

Blogging For Blogging’s Sake or The Tyranny of the Term

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Web 1.0 gave us “internet,” “HTML,” “email,” “hyperlink”, “online,” and, of course, “web.” Web 2.0 has given us “social media,” “citizen journalism,” “tagging,” “blog,” “podcast,” “Web 2.0″ (of course) — and the list goes on. Web 2.0 is still in the wrangling over terminology phase — especially over Web 2.0 itself. Recently, there’s been some […]

April 6th

Podcasting Is Still Just For Geeks

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If the low (conscious) adoption rate for RSS brings you down, then don’t look at the new Forrester study on podcasting (via Charlene Li) — the adoption rate for podcasting is a paltry 1%, i.e. podcasting is still just for geeks. And to make matters worse: And when you include all of the people who […]

March 24th

How Fast Can Google Grow Offline?

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I’ve been very skeptical of Google’s Print Ad program since its inception. So I’m hardly surprised by the news from BusinessWeek that the program is a dud (thanks to David Utter for passing on the article): Carl D. Haugen, president of BluePenguin Software, spent $3,000 on an ad through Google, which ran in the November […]

March 18th

Have Media Companies Learned Anything?

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Here’s a quote from an Economist article — guess what year it was published: Jessica Reif Cohen, a media analyst at Merrill Lynch, reckons that profits from online advertising and paid content could represent up to 8-9% of total earnings for Disney, Viacom and News Corporation in 3-5 years and considerably more for Time Warner, […]

March 9th

The Coming Search Advertising Crash

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I’m not sure if I’ll be the first to predict it, but search advertising is headed for a cliff. I can’t say with any certainty when–or whether–the crash will come, but the evidence is mounting. Everyone is talking about the $90 million click fraud settlement, and the Google apologists are out in force, arguing that […]

February 13th

Conde Nast Is Out of Ad Space

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Conde Nast has a problem unique among Old Media companies — they’re out of ad space — “premium” ad space that is: As much as that might sound like closeout-sale speak, it’s actually a positive sign, and an indication that the company’s $3.5 million marketing campaign might have been worth the investment. “Out of inventory” […]

February 9th

Old Media Asserts Its Will to Survive

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Old Media executives have been stepping forward lately to assert their will to survive — even thrive — in a New Media world. Only time will tell whether Old Media brands can indeed survive, but there is ample evidence of forward thinking and emerging digital strategy. From Time Inc. president Ann Moore: We will continue […]

February 6th

Shifting the Economic Center of Gravity in Media

by  |   8 Comments

It’s now conventional wisdom that the future of media is digital and on-demand — content creators no longer own the distribution channels. But the economic center of gravity in media has not shifted to reflect this change. The laws of media dynamics will force the center to shift — advertising dollars always follow the audience, […]

January 29th

Bubble 2.0 Is a Bubble in Media

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There is a bubble in the tech industry, but it has nothing to do with the behavior of venture capital, as so many people are discussing. There’s a bubble because the tech industry is trying to be the new media industry, and very few people in the tech industry understand what’s really happening to the […]

January 24th

No Substitute for Traditional Brand Advertising

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The conventional wisdom is that traditional advertising is wounded and dying at the feet of innovators like Google AdSense and Word of Mouth Marketing. The NYTimes continues its role as a media and technology hype machine today with its coverage of the Word-of-Mouth Marketing Association meeting: Speakers with titles like “marketing medic” or “manager of […]

January 24th

The Real Digital Generation Gap

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There have always been generation gaps, especially when it comes to politics, but if you believe the latest hype about the Digital Generation (such as this Times article), the new generation gap is more like a gapping chasm. The argument goes that the Digital Generation doesn’t just consume media differently, they also think different: “What’s […]

January 23rd

Is There Hope for Content Brands?

by  |   6 Comments

Beneath all the buzz about Google re-taking the top spot as #1 Global brand is evidence of a worrisome trend for content brands, which supports the theory that Google is a brand killer. If you look at the U.S. & Canada results for the brandchannel survey across the last five years, you’ll see that content […]

January 21st

How to Fix RSS

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RSS sucks. I’m with Paul Kedrosky. Let the technodweebospehere rain fire and brimstone. I could add to Paul’s rant, but instead here’s a Really Simple three-step Solution (of course, the real first step is admitting that you have a problem): 1. Call it “subscribing” Everyone understands subscribing. You’ve got your email newsletter subscriptions, your premium […]

January 20th

Who Are the New Media Gatekeepers?

by  |   28 Comments

Who decides what’s worthy of your attention — a Web 2.0 application, a newspaper columnist, a talk show host, an editorial staff, an influential blogger, a community of thousands, a community of millions? (UPDATE: Oy vey, this post is NOT about getting links, although it’s completely my fault that it’s been misread that way. It’s […]

January 18th

Web 2.0 Is Not Media 2.0

by  |   47 Comments

There may or may not be a Web 2.0 crash coming, as Steve Rubel has predicted, but there’s certainly blood in the water, with Yahoo’s earnings miss, Gather.com’s bad reviews, the demise of SearchFox, and the gathering buzz about an impending crash. Steve thinks a key factor is that “online advertising isn’t growing as fast […]

January 15th

Media Should Start With Conversation, Then Synthesis

by  |   23 Comments

The problem with the current debate over Old Media vs. New Media is that most people see it in binary terms — either Old Media dies and the web becomes a completely open marketplace of commoditized content (as Jeff Jarvis and countless others have argued), or consumers rebel and cling to the structures of Old […]

January 14th

Old Media Should Index and Filter New Media

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Instead of fearing and/or chasing after New Media, perhaps Old Media should seize the opportunity to organize the chaos that still defines the New Media universe. Drawing on my complaint about the overabundance of media, Lloyd Shepherd took the thinking a quantum leap forward in his post, Kicking against overabundance?: Take podcasting. I find it […]

January 12th

Bloggers Are So Wrong About Media

by  |   52 Comments

There is so much wrong with the blogger view that the monoliths of old media will be brought down and consumers will bask in the glory of infinite media choice — discussing, creating, tagging, rating (meta-ing) each other’s content in one big solipsistic frenzy. Everyone can create media. Everyone controls their own media. Everyone is […]

January 11th

Scarcity of Ideas and the Digital Media Future

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At the heart of the digital media revolution is a burning question about the sustainability of the content creation business. The issue was recently stirred up by Lloyd Shepherd’s post on digitial rights management (DRM), further stirred by Doc Searls, and brought into critical focus by Jon Udell, who made the compelling assertion that the […]


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