Tuesday, October 31, 2006

There was an interesting feature this morning on NPR that, I think, gets to some of the challenges newspapers face today, without being a "newspaper" example.

Sometimes it's very difficult to scrutinize yourself. And newspapers sometimes seem more reluctant even than other industries.

So, I thought this example might be a valuable lesson from another industry, might help us see our own challenges from a different perspective.

The music industry is enduring as big an upheaval as our industry, mainly because they had a similar business model for years: They tell the consumer what he likes. They have had essentially a monopoly on the distribution of music. And now they are struggling against the inevitable: digital distribution.

This "technical disruption" has empowered consumer choice, made the common man a music publisher, created "blue ocean" markets for once-dead artists and siphoned millions away from the old guard. Sound familiar?

Anyway, you can listen to the short report: here

I think it's a valuable dialogue starter.

1 comment:

  1. Ken,

    I was thinking the same thing a month or so ago when I was reading a recent issue of Wired that got deep into this. Bands like Barenaked Ladies are finding new ways to deliver their music (and in different formats).

    The articles are here.

    When I pre-ordered the newest Bob Dylan album on iTunes a couple of months ago, I received a PDF booklet and four music videos.

    The issues with other industries (music, TV, film, etc.) also are our problems. They're just bigger for these more fractured media. We need to learn our lessons before we become like Tower Records.