Rupert Murdoch, who spent a fortune investing in the like of MySpace only to see it drop away, continually threatens to remove his news content from search engine indexing and seems set on constructing paywalls to access his content.
In Australia, the News Limited marketing boss Joe Talcott toes the company line by unleashing regular diatribes about online measurement. His latest came last week when he attacked research showing that time spent online has outstripped that spent consuming traditional media.
The internet is not a medium, it’s a place where people do stuff. There’s media on the internet, no question. No one sits down to `watch the internet’.
Talcott was partly responding to a Nielsen study of internet users last year found that people spent 16.1 hours a week on the internet on average, more than any other media. He went on to say:
Social networks should not be compared with TV and radio; they should be compared with socialising.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Just because Talcott’s team, or any of the traditional media players, aren’t producing the content doesn’t mean its not a medium. Increasingly social networks are becoming a large part of our lives. They’re able to be accessed through our computers and phones and often refer us to the content of many of these traditional media players.
I’m sure Mr Talcott is happy when we arrive at one of his properties when referred via a link on Twitter or Facebook.
The other area where the News team seem to miss the point is when they say “people don’t sit down to watch the Internet”. We don’t merely watch it, we’re immersed in it. We’re contributing, interacting, creating AND consuming. Often simultaneously.
That’s the new reality Joe, its not the old one way street anymore.
Joe Pollard, CEO of ninemsn, was quick to point out that Talcott is wrong. Following a nice list of current online and media stats, Pollard said:
It’s hard to argue with such telling statistics! Online is most certainly a medium for consumers to be entertained and informed – it just happens to be interactive and the consumer is in control. If no one is “sitting down to watch the internet” then why are 11 million people consuming ninemsn’s short form video every month?
Is News Limited’s myopia going to harm their future in a superfast broadband world?
News really should start embracing the online medium and acknowledging its growing dominance. They should begin designing for greater digital consumption rather than protecting aged assets and a business model that is headed the way of the dinosaur.
For a look at a publisher who does “get it” and is embracing the digital future go no further than Wired who have just previewed their vision for the magazine as consumed via the iPad.
FYI, that’s online too Mr Talcott.