The chaos scenario

The chaos scenario

: Bob Garfield has a major piece of analysis and reporting on the future of media in this week’s Ad Age, sadly without links online. He will also have a piece on this in this weekend’s On the Media). It is the perfect bookend, from the advertising and business perspective, to Merrill Brown’s piece in the Carnegie Report, which explores the media chaos scenario from the audience and content perspective.

Garfield draws a picture of the future — nearer than you think — in which audiences shrink severely in broadcast, mass media before new niche media are ready with the content and stuff to serve them and the advertisers who want to reach them.

Yesiree, by George, it’s a brave and exciting new world that the near future holds, a democratized, consumer-empowered, bottom-up, pull-not-push, lean forward and lean back universe that will improve the quantity and quality of entertainment options, create hitherto unimaginable marketing opportunities and efficiencies and, not incidentally, generate wealth that will make the current $250 billion domestic ad market seem like pin money.

Alas, the future — near or not — doesn’t happen until later….

Because revolutions by their nature are neither seamless nor smooth.

Because there is no reason to believe the collapse of the old media model will yield a plug-and-play new one

Bob quotes two of the smartest people I know in this arena: Om Malik and Rishad Tobaccowala of Starcom, the giant media buying agency.

I wish I could quote more — enticing you to go out and buy a copy of Ad Age — but, alas and damnit, they do not put the story online, even for us subcribers. What were they saying about dinosaur media?

  • Maybe they are not being the dinosuar. Although they will not have the reach of other publications being on paper only they are receiving revenue and are controlling the distribution channel much better than other publications.
    Take the example of music. When music was on plastic it was not easy to distribute, but you were pretty much assured of getting paid for each copy. Once the music became digitized, it was easy to distribute, but hard to get paid for each copy.
    Newspapers and magazines have followed the same pattern after they digitized the presses.

  • maxkalehoff1

    There also was a story in the latest hardcopy edition of Adage about Intelliseek and Edelman’s “most influential blogs ranking.” That one would’ve been nice to read online as well (it’s not even in the Nexis database). I state this even as I lead marketing for Intelliseek’s chief competitor, BuzzMetrics. The irony!

  • A.J. Liebling

    anything new to report? I wrote the same thing over and over again in my “Wayward Press” column, but at least I made it interesting.
    This is what I wrote in 1961, when I was alive:
    “As the number of cities in the United States with only a single newspaper increases, news becomes increasingly nonessential to the newspaper.”