Posts tagged disruption
Posts tagged disruption
“We don’t want to lose our direct relationship with our subscribers. It’s at the core of our business model,” Rob Grimshaw told Reuters in an interview on Monday. He said he was hopeful of a positive outcome to negotiations with Apple, but added: “If it turns out that one or another channel doesn’t mix with the way we want to do business, there’s a large number of other channels available to us.”
No chest thumping. No talk of iPad “salvation.” Just a level-headed perspective of the current opportunities and how they may or may not benefit the Finaicial Times. This is how all publishers — news, books, film, etc. — should approach digital channels. Does it work for us or does it not?
This column made me think of Clay Shirky’s point that revolutions and massive disruption typically cause a lot of strive before natural levels are found. The cutting of editorial staffs and subsequent degradation of quality is really just the pendulum of change swinging wildly to one end of the spectrum (or something like that … basically, we’re all crazy balls right now). At some point, staff levels will fall in line with revenue, and quality will be restored. There’ll just might be much fewer people and much less content when that happens. The interim is going to suck. There’s no way around that.
Anyone who’s read “The Innovator’s Dilemma” will see two perspectives in the following passage:
A New Media Age survey found this month that 77 per cent of UK regular online readers were not prepared to pay for access to news websites. A separate PwC report with the World Association of Newspapers found that consumers were more willing to pay for financial or sports coverage, but would choose free content over subscription sites “when the quality was comparable or sufficient for their purpose”. [Emphasis added.]
Perspective 1: Established media organizations are in a bad spot because the audience will always gravitate toward free content that meets the “good enough” standard.
Perspective 2 (the interesting one): New content businesses can use “good enough” free content to grab audience share from established media entities. And since new firms are unencumbered by massive overhead, they can (potentially) achieve sustainability with smaller staffs supported by lower ad rates and ancillary, built-in revenue streams (events, conferences, and the like).
Anyone blaming the Globe’s ills solely on New York Times management is suffering from myopia. Granted, the Times made business blunders that put it in a bad position (heavy debt loads being chief among them), but the Globe’s problems are also linked to the systemic change rumbling through traditional media.
This is the flood. It’s going to wipe out a lot of the entrenched structures and we’ll all suffer through a period of transition and ambiguity. But ultimately, the new businesses that pop up (including a new and improved Globe) will be stronger and better positioned.