It’s old news in music and will soon be old news in radio. It’s about to hit in print (newspapers and magazines).
It’s part about citizen journalism, part about ease and mobility of access and part about the success of new media players refusing to be bound by past formats.
It’s about how younger people want to consumer content.
It’s about the stories and their desire to be told as opposed to accepting second place to advertising.
Disaggregation is what we are seeing in so many places.
Thanks to iTunes and like type online stores I can buy the songs I like as opposed to whole albums.
Thanks to Podcasting I can listen to reports which interest me from a range of sources rather than having to listen to a whole radio show.
With new devices hitting the market to make accessing content easier and more mobile, disaggregation will only increase. This will make mainstream media focus more on content and setting it free than on their aggregator products of newspapers, magazines, tv shows and radio broadcasts. If one is interested in stories about Golf for example I can see a world where you’d set a budget per day and that would give you stories about the topic to that value on the device of your choice. You’d also get up sell options on other related stories. Plus you’d be advised of the stories others reading the story you are reading liked.
The key part of this scenario is that you would be buying content by the story. Micro purchases. To help fund newsgathering and their need to maintain and grow profit levels the creators of the content would imbed new forms of advertising. In fact, smart content providers will find this more successful than the less scientific approach in today’s mainstream media.
We do this today in a free world using Google News or Yahoo News or RSS readers and the like. In the world I envisage the content changes, much of what we see today ceases to be free and we could access it while mobile, at home and from news centres (from where we can download).
If you think itâ€™s a stretch that we will move from the world of free content we have today to one of paid content in the news and information category, think Napster. The music industry fixed the problem of free content. Newspaper and magazine publishers will fix this. They must if they are to retain their role and give mainstream media a future on the other side of what in becoming known as Generation C â€“ the content generation.
Content providers will be sorted out by the quality and trustworthiness of their work by thinking consumers while at the other end gossip type content providers will win sales based on the promise of luscious details. The key in this world is that the story is what sells. Not the package. Itâ€™s the story. And the brand the story is sold under is what will earn consumer repeat interest, as always.
My interest in this is the impact on those in the aggregated product supply chain. Like Australia’s 4,600 newsagents. More than 50% of our businesses rely on aggregated product (newspapers and magazines). What can we expect in such a marketplace? Not much, yet. Disaggregation of the level I envisage is a way off. But in this world what may seem a few years off today could be months away. This is why bricks and mortar businesses in the news and information supply chain need to be considering their place in the new world. This is why we need to lift our heads and look part the horizon and pursue opportunities which ensure our future and focus building our relevance in a changing world.