He is also a consultant with specialist media consultancy Rightscom and has recently been working with the European Publishers Council on the establishment of a project called the Linked Content Coalition.
He has worked in the publishing industry for over 40 years and he writes here in a purely personal capacity.
What is the biggest challenge facing traditional media companies?
I am not sure I would want to identify a single “biggest” challenge. It is facile to say “the Internet” – since evidently (see my answer to the next question) the existence of an increasingly ubiquitous global communication network creates both challenges and opportunities for traditional media companies. The challenges and the opportunities are the opposite sides of the same coin.
Instant, inexpensive and increasingly ubiquitous digital communication opens up many new business opportunities; but these are often easier for new entrants to exploit than for incumbents, simply because they are by their nature predatory on existing business models. An obvious example is classified advertising, which has disappeared as sites like Craig’s List have taken over. It is hardly surprising that it is difficult for incumbent businesses to accept that a new business model may be successful but at much lower margins than have traditionally been enjoyed. (more…)