So how do we make money?

I’ve had this conversation a few times recently and just realised I hadn’t written about it here.

It comes from putting all of these things together:

Democratisation of media – “anyone” (ok, not anyone, but a lot more people than before) have access to technology that allows them to produce written, audio and video content of a very high quality and distribute their offerings to a global audience. One of the key effects of this is that the distinction between producer and consumer gets blurred – more and more people are both.

Content is worth more if you can get it free than if you have to pay for it – people increasingly expect to get stuff on the net for free and in fact they value the product more if they’ve been able to get a free sample (or even the whole thing) online. Music and movie producers shouldn’t worry about file-sharing and copying for this reason. However, it does raise the question “What can you sell people through the web?”

Advertising is dying. It may be a slow death or a quick one, but the trend is downwards and terminal. People don’t want to be interrupted by commercial messages anymore. Yes we need commercial information, but we want it available when we go looking, not jumping out at us wherever we go. Please don’t try to grab me by the eyeballs. Trouble is, advertising is *the* business model in media – who knows how else to make money out of it?

When you put all of those things together, the future starts to look gloomy for media execs especially in TV. How on earth are we going to continue to make programmes and make money? I don’t know the answer, but I’m enjoying talking about it to help get to an answer. Whatever, I’m sure that it involves people in TV talking to people (currently) outside TV to see what things haven’t worked in the past and it also involves talking to your audiences as if they have something you want, rather than the other way round.

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2 thoughts on “So how do we make money?”

  1. Glad to see you got off your RSS and posted about this. ;->
    This is going to be an interesting aspect of the New Culture–the collapse of the status quo and the replacement with ??? I don’t listen to radio, so I’m not buying anything they’re selling there. I Tivo every show I watch, not only to watch what I want when I want, but also to skip the adverts. So that’s wasted advertising dollars. . . .Perhaps the end game of this all is that we can pare down our consumer society and stop buying what we don’t need on impulse, and begin to purchase what is truely useful too us, based on word of mouth report and reputation. Products will be reviewed by consumers–like they already are at Amazon–and advertising costs can be cut leading to less expensive products and more affordabilitiy all around. TV will change from it current model to a pay per content or on-demand model. If I want British programming in the US I will pay the Brit Channel for content, and so on. What get’s me now is that World channels and programming which are advert free in their country of origin are hacked to pieces to cram in ads when they hit the American Market (that and an applause track is added to everything). These will be some strange times ahead indeed.

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