Thursday, December 23, 2010

Broadcasters need to change - to stay relevant and viable

I wrote the below to a company in the UK about their response to a submission of mine.

“ I am not sure you will read this, but I will take the chance you may, I have been all across media, from Radio, Television and Content production, now more focused on strategy for current and future delivery systems, and how companies, particularly those former monopolistic media companies, such as Television will survive and prosper.

What I wonder, and perhaps you can enlighten me, why Traditional (old) media does not view the Internet as a partner instead of a threat, it is the ideal resource to allow them to form “true” partnerships, rather than the current viewpoint of most broadcasters where they treat these “communities” in anything but an accountable and collaborative way, they either totally ignore their feedback or treat them as a target for Email fodder... the potential for the internet to build support, communities and a future (though a more accountable and transparent one) for old media is there, it is profound, it just needs to be tapped with the right strategy.

Traditional (old) Media needs to be more open and inclusive, they need to provide content that their customers (which isn't the advertiser) want to view, value them and treat them with respect, why not to start with a treat,  for example, like asking your customer base what they want to see, or how they see this character or that character or that relationship develop, this is the essence of the difference between old and new media ( although the whole idea of being tied to the end-user would be impossible and abhorrent for a really creative soul, Broadcasting is not about true creativity ... it is about putting bums on seats ), however if those in Broadcasting are not responsive with a collaborative strategy, traditional media will be about as relevant to the future of content production and delivery, as the current manufacturer of buggy whips are to mass transit.

Old media has to become relevant to the future, they need to stop lamenting about their past glories. For instance the Internet, will not have in the short term, the capacity to deliver product to all, as Television and Cable / Satellite technologies do...I wrote a paper about this and other new growth business models back in 2008, though currently some aspects are changing, conventional broadcasters do have a real positive, and that is unlimited “connections” if you like, the true mass media model, something that under current and short to medium term prediction of capacity, the internet does not - but that gives old media a breather, it is not a reprieve.
Broadcasters need to change direction, as I guess I am doing, re-inventing themselves in a new guise, they need to find a different business model – but I guess my point is, just as in the past, the dire predictions from the other old media such as Radio and Cinema has had to do, they had to find a different way to prosper, they will have to specialise, but first of all they need to listen.

When Rupert bought MySpace .. it was a disaster waiting to happen (and I thought so then when I wrote this and this about Fox and old media), MySpace is now floundering because of the stereotypes and the inflexible and unrealistic short term strategies that Fox tried to impose on the organisation – Fox, like many in the industry are just not structured or psychologically equipped to operate in the internet, as they like most conventional media is looking for the quick fix, the magic bullet, when there is none

They need to face and change, not only change to their structure and the organisation, but more importantly to their old viewpoints, a true change of culture is needed … do get with it, please remember what century you are in ( I am saying that a lot lately ),  your consumers do not want what you think is best or spin, they want respect and to be valued, especially the future generation s –  the up and coming new consumers, including my sons 'Y" generation  … respect them, ask them what they want and listen and that will help you mold your future.

There is so much more to this .. but finding someone who will even listen, and is open to the inevitable changes needed, that will make them a force in the future is almost impossible to communicate to those who can make the change - now that is irony.

I don’t really want to be the one to say I told you so when it all crumbles and the jackals are there looking to the future picking over the remains of the carcass of old media.

Thoughts anyone –  or send me an Email

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