Credit: Arcanon
Credit: Arcanon

Even though the content market has been completely saturated, that’s not what’s killing mainstream media outlets. No, Google, Craigslist, and Amazon are killing mainstream media. Google took away their readers, Craigslist took away their classifieds, and Amazon took away their advertisers. This is what Tom Foremki is getting at when he says:

Silicon Valley has turned into a Media Valley, because so many of our large and startup companies are essentially media companies. They are technology-enabled-media-companies, they sell advertising around content. That’s true for Google, Yahoo, Ebay, Amazon, Craigslist, and it is true for many smaller companies, Web 2.0 companies, etc. And the rise of social media is just a continuing part of this trend.

What it comes down to is content delivery. These start-ups have made content more accessible and easier to consumer, and if troubled mainstream media outlets are going to reinvent themselve in ways that will increase ad revenues and possibly elicit subscription payments from consumers in an over-saturated market, that’s what they have to do: recreate how their readers/listeners/viewers consume their content — no matter how rich, authoritative, or original it is.

Content production is something that we’ve pretty much figured out across all media. And with the barriers to publishing eroding more everyday, there are more and more producers figuring out those media. It’s not the media, then, that needs perfection, updating, or reinvention. It’s the consumption — the delivery, the targeting, the filtering, the delivery.

This is what Google and Craigslist and Amazon have done. They’ve perfected the delivery of a certain kind of content. What mainstream media outlets should be asking themselves, then, is whether there is a better way to deliver the kinds of content they specialize in to the audience that they cater to. And if so, whether the technological means to doing so are withing, well, their means.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *