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?