Predictions on media over next decade

February 4th, 2009 at 10:28 am by David Farrar

As part of their series on ten years of Herald online, a number of media industry people look at the next ten years:

commentator, radio host
Everyone goes on about the death of traditional media, but the market’s a really interesting thing, it expands and contracts. Very seldom do you see one form kill off another. Everyone’s concentrating on digital – it’s slowly making more inroads into advertising. But it’s not going to kill papers, it won’t cut the throat of radio. TV didn’t kill radio or movies. They all changed and adapted. Everyone jostles around a bit, squeezes up together and continues to make a living.

I am a bit more pessimistic over print media. As Bill later says there are opportunities from this digital age, but I think advertising is going to move more and more online. In the US classified ads have almost died, and Trade Me has sluaghtered a lot of print advertising in NZ. Also online advertising can give advertisers so much more precise information – such as how many people saw an ad, clicked on it, what their demographic profile is etc etc.

Dr Martin Hirst – AUT associate professor, journalism curriculum leader
People talk about the death of newspapers all the time. I would think we have another ten years of newspapers. Journalism will continue in one form or another. I’m not sure if online media are a replacement for newspapers and TV and radio. Online media tends to be a replication of other media, a mirror or extension of their newspaper outlets, not a replacement. Whether this will continue in the future is debatable.

I certainly agree newspapers are still here in ten years. But in thirty? Not so sure.

– Television presenter
The problem with television is that it’s expensive to make. We will see a preponderance of niche communications, something for everyone, whether you’re a macrobiotic vegan or Canterbury supporter. And where you’ll find it is online.

How can a construct of broadcasting, born of one channel, reinvent itself in an utterly fragmented market where people have so much choice? How do we survive within that market? That comes down to everyone’s ability to connect with an audience, an audience which has so much choice.

Very astute words from Mr Campbell. The market is fragmented and with PVRs, the emphasis is going on programmes not channels.

Copyright is another thing to consider – I could do a story at 7pm and it could be on YouTube five minutes later. How do we enforce that, do we want to worry about it, what do we do about it? As a rule of thumb I can’t take other people’s work and take it to air. YouTube rides roughshod over all those notions.

But it will also normally be on the TV3 site that evening also, so what is the problem? If it is lack of advertising revenue because it is on You Tube not TV3 site, I think one solution might be for TV channels to embed ads in their online content and stick it on You Tube themselves.

– General manager, digital services, TVNZ
In the next ten years storage space on home devices is going to increase drastically, and bandwidth prices will decrease. These two in combination will see much more content available on demand.

Yes, yes, yes. You want to see episodes 1 to 6 of MASH, you just push the button and a minute later episode one at least is ready to go.

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17 Responses to “Predictions on media over next decade”

  1. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Oh yeah, Martin Hurst. Isn’t that the guy Trevor Loudon profiled a while ago. An extreme leftist teaching journalism? ..and then John Campbell, Bill Ralston and anyone connected with TVNZ. All these far left elitists, (so out of touch with working NZers) need to do if they want to find the real reason for the demise of the mainstream media is look in the mirror. A medium ly so blatantperverted to the cause of shoving socialist ideology down the public’s throats has to inevitably come to the end of its use by date.

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  2. Hagues (711 comments) says:

    “But it’s not going to kill papers, it won’t cut the throat of radio. TV didn’t kill radio or movies.”

    But lets not forget that video killed the radio star!

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  3. PhilBest (5,117 comments) says:

    Radio and Recording killed the “Live musician” industry in the 1920′s and 1930′s. Don’t think similar paradigmic shifts can’t happen again.

    In the case of “mainstream” media, Redbaiter is right, and their demise is not at all to be pitied.

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  4. KiwiGreg (3,170 comments) says:

    Actually the internet is bringing back the “live musician” as touring is now the main money spinner for many bands because of the erosion of royalty revenue through downloads.

    On newspapers have a look at current and forecast newsprint production – it’s going through the toilet. Think massive consolidation and downsizing. Newspapers wont die overnight but they will be a shadow of their former selves in physical form in 5 years, not 10.

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  5. goodgod (1,363 comments) says:

    “…and by 1999 we’ll all be working from home, or from the beach, while connected to an electronic arrangement called the World Wide Web…”

    e-predictions.

    zzzzzzz

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  6. bwooce (11 comments) says:

    > But it will also normally be on the TV3 site that evening also, so what is the problem? If it is lack of advertising revenue because it is > on You Tube not TV3 site, I think one solution might be for TV channels to embed ads in their online content and stick it on
    > YouTube themselves.

    If you consider that most advertisements use music recordings, or even just the music itself in a new recording, you’ll start to see the current (stupid) problem that prevents this. I do not believe it is possible to properly license music for this at the moment, at least not unless you’re licensing it globally for a multi-country campaign anyway.

    See the EFF get in on the YouTube action for going to the extreme lengths taking down/blanking out new music recordings of 1920′s music…by a minor.

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  7. vibenna (305 comments) says:

    The internet needs content. At the moment, traditional media have all the content. Also, fragmentation offers a lot of choice, most people don’t want choice. The idea of niche channels is a bit of myth. People have a few favourites, and then surf around. Just like the blogosphere.

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  8. BenN (1 comment) says:

    I think its always going to be a matter of Convenience. You listen the radio when your driving, cooking, going to sleep etc… Read the paper at breakfast or on the subway, Watch the news at night, read the websites at work.

    What it comes back to is content and its distribution. We will probably see more bloomberg scenarios e.g. Bloomberg TV/Radio/On-Line/Cellphone/Blackberry. I believe the buzzword is convergence.

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  9. Jack5 (4,571 comments) says:

    An interesting collection of views. I think Ralston is wrong in saying you seldom see one form of media kill another. There is a lag. The development of movable type that brought economic printing on paper took a century or two to kill off town criers. Papyrus killed clay tablets of the ancient civilisations, but there would have been longish periods of overlap.

    In the full article in the Herald Hirst writes of online news: “The subscription model works for companies like Bloomberg which provide financial data, but not for the Wall Street Journal or any other major newspapers.”

    I don’t think this is correct. The Wall Street Journal has more than half a million subscribers paying well over $NZ100 a year, which is a substantial contribution to that newspaper. The new owner Murdoch has hinted that he might drop the charge, but that’s because he wants to get a big enough readership to bump the New York Times off its perch, not because the subscription model is an economic drag.

    These commentators also underplay the role of advertising. With classified, job and property advertising galloping on to the internet, the mainstream media are left largely with retail advertising. That has been in a bubble with the economy, but now is likely to shrink drastically. So we may soon see rapid change in the make-up of the news media.

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  10. aardvark (417 comments) says:

    I wrote a column yesterday called The End of “free” which sums up my thoughts on the matter.

    The whole concept of ad-supported content is about to suffer a significant decline, partly due to technology and partly due to the failure of that economic model in the 21st century where newspapers are going belly-up left right and centre (LA Times, NY Times, etc) and broadcasters are finding their ad revenues also falling.

    What will the 21st century media model look like?

    I have a go at guessing.

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  11. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Bet you can’t wrap fish and chips with old computers.

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  12. Jack5 (4,571 comments) says:

    Side Show Bob: when did you last see fish and chips wrapped in newspaper? That is not counting any reel-end white paper.

    But another thing the commentators miss is the cost of transport in print media. Newspapers and bulky and of very low individual monetary value. In a country like NZ with population spread thinly over a wide area, distribution must be a big cost.

    If newspapers want to survive they will need to be electronic, at least in the transport phase of their supply line from reporters to readers. Otherwise they won’t be able to compete.

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  13. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    A week in politics is a long time, that’s why stories never last over a week.

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  14. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    As I have said, there will surely be an exodus of US reporters to Aus & NZ.

    But will they understand our political system.

    Cricket is just going to dismay them.

    One and only US reporter here; Genevive Westcott. She didn’t seem to encourage others here.

    Augey Auer read the weather which impressed the Clintons over here.

    Which also might not have been good for his anti global warming espousals.

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  15. Buggerlugs (1,609 comments) says:

    Kindle and other e-readers are starting to take off. Once newspapers realise the technology is there, they might do something.

    There is a huge potential market for a portable (no, not a tiny screen cellphone or PDA) internet-enabled device like a Kindle that utilises your interests, your region, and push technology to deliver your news each day (or each minute, a la Google Alerts).

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  16. Buggerlugs (1,609 comments) says:

    PS Genevieve Westcott is Canadian. And she’s not a journalist’s arse.

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  17. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    “There is a huge potential market for a portable (no, not a tiny screen cellphone or PDA) internet-enabled device like a Kindle that utilises your interests, your region, and push technology to deliver your news each day (or each minute, a la Google Alerts).”

    I’m not usually interested in tech things, but this sounds great. Hope to hear more about it.

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