Media Doesn’t Need to Recreate the Wheel, Just Find a New Spin

The impact of digital on the media industry has been topsy-turvy at best as it has up ended business models, changing the industry irrevocably. Unlike some of the other areas that Canada’s Digital Compass explored, media is faced with turning a necessary evil into an opportunity.

But this isn’t news.

What was interesting is how many of the ideas submitted touched upon new business models that revolved around loosening control to successfully leverage the new digital reality. Could media reinvent itself using lessons learned from the technology industry, starting with Linux and the open source movement?

There were also some great solutions that were targeted at smaller, underserved markets. Can mass media survive and thrive by focusing on solutions for very specific demographics? The idea of mass customization has helped many consumer product companies grab back market share that they were losing to lower cost alternatives.

Some of the most innovative ideas and business models in the last few years have found success in the non-profit sector, like micropayments or leveraging the passions of so-called “amateurs” to more cost-effectively create a professional product or result (yes, this hints at crowdsourcing, but Canada’s Digital Compass is not designed to solicit inexpensive ideas for PwC to turn around and charge money for, it is really about creating a dialogue.)

Time will tell, whether the media industry will be able to turn digital into a great opportunity, as opposed to finding a solution that will save their business, but those brave enough to submit ideas to this crowdsourcing site have showed that recreating the wheel doesn’t need to mean starting from scratch, but can be about putting a new twist on a proven concept.

One Response to “Media Doesn’t Need to Recreate the Wheel, Just Find a New Spin”

  1. Dennis Threndyle says:

    Hi Carie

    The media companies in Canada got into trouble because their owners and managers got their companies into far too much debt. CTV, CanWest bought and gobbled up media companies As a result the Waters family, Conrad Black, Michael McMillan and others saw instant wealth where they had just been very rich before.

    Of course traditional media companies could never figure out digital presentations because they came from the world of big productions, big costs and limited wires and channels all connected to 98% of the population. They had controlled access to nearly every home in North America. The Net was too difficult for them to understand – wasn’t it just another form of cable?

    Television will continue because we all watch Sports, live concerts, News and Jack Bauer. This is what Television and to a lesser extent radio do best and advertisers who need to advertise seasonal products, or cars or food see the value of broadcast media. There are some very interesting digital technologies to direct the right commercial to better prospects, but that technology is not yet proven and who is going to pay for it. The Net can offer special niche ( tiny ) programmes but unless the viewer pays it will be difficult to secure profitability.

    There are two media that can use the net creatively and I believe profitability – One is community newspapers and the other is national magazines. Neither has really taken the bold step to promote themselves as multimedia companies and it is a shame.

    All the best

    Dennis Threndyle

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