Prihodnost medijev – Brcanje mrtvega konja?

Prejšnji teden sem pisal o tem, kako sta dva velika medija (New York Times in Washington Post) izgubila dva velika front-runnerja (Nate Silver in Ezra Klein), ker medijski hiši v njunih vizijah nista bili sposobni videti svoje (svetlejše) prihodnosti. David Carr je včeraj v kolumni v New York Timesu to neokretnost tradicionalnih tiskanih medijev opisal kot “Old Media cluelessness“. Nesposobnost, da bi nove tehnologije izkoristili za bolj tehnološko sodobno, večpredstavno predstavitev novic. Za drugačen žurnalizem v realnem času, ki se lahko hipno odzove na zadeve, ki so zanimive za uporabnika in mu jih večstransko, celovito in plastično predstavi z uporabo različnih tehnologij.

Tradicionalni časopisi niso dojeli, da digitalni žurnalizem ni več samo dodatek tiskani izdaji, ampak da postaja svoj lasten produkt, ki bo izrinil tiskanega dinozavra. Problem je v tem, ker bi morali dinozavra (kadrovsko in stroškovno) oklestiti na raven piščeta in nato te prihranke vložiti v nove tehnologije in drugačne kadre. Novi ponudniki, ki izhajajo iz tehnološke branže, teh težav z balastom zgodovine nimajo. Novi ponudniki imajo tehnologijo, iščejo pa vsebine oziroma ljudi, velika imena, ki jim bodo pripeljali zgodbe. In novim medijem bo naklonjen oglasni trg, kajti imajo naraščajoč trg in platformo, da oglaševano vsebino spravijo do uporabnika.

Simbolno smo v času, ko je Nikola Tesla izumil indukcijski elektromotor na načelu izmeničnega toka, kar je omogočilo prenos električne energije na velike razdalje, nato pa je bilo samo vprašanje časa, kdo bo s proizvodnjo žarnic hitreje pometel s konkurenco proizvajalcev sveč, karbidovk, petrolejk itd.

In making the switch, Mr. Klein is part of a movement of big-name journalists who are migrating from newspaper companies to digital start-ups. Walter Mossberg and Kara Swisher left Dow Jones to form Re/code with NBC. David Pogue left The New York Times for Yahoo and Nate Silver for ESPN. At the same time, independent news sites like Business Insider, BuzzFeed and Vox have all received abundant new funding, while traffic on viral sites like Upworthy and ViralNova has exploded.

The web was more like a set of tin cans and a thin wire back then, so news media upstarts had trouble being heard. With high broadband penetration, the web has become a fully realized consumer medium where pages load in a flash and video plays without stuttering. With those pipes now built, we are in a time very similar to the early 1980s, when big cities were finally wired for cable. What followed was an explosion of new channels, many of which have become big businesses today.

The same holds true for digital. Organizations like BuzzFeed, Gawker, The Huffington Post, Vice and Vox, which have huge traffic but are still relatively small in terms of profit, will eventually mature into the legacy media of tomorrow.

In digital media, technology is not a wingman, it is The Man. Kenneth Lerer, manager of Lerer Ventures and one of the backers of BuzzFeed and The Huffington Post, says that whenever he is pitched an editorial idea, he always asks who the technology partner is. How something is made and published is often as important as what is made.

It’s worth remembering that Vox got its hands on The Verge because the people working at Engadget, a tech site owned by AOL, grew tired of trying to publish through the big, slow blob of a huge corporation. The staff came to Vox for the technology and used the flexible platform there to publish its way to an audience. Vox added Curbed, Eater and Racked last year, so Mr. Klein’s new venture will become part of a growing digital emporium. And from a standing start in 2011, The Verge has grown to over 10 million unique visitors a month, becoming a big player in technology and gadgets right out of the box.

With the price for web advertising dropping by the second and new competitors coming out of the screen at a very high rate, it would seem like a terrible time to jump in. But what we are witnessing now is not the formation of a bubble, it is the emergence of a lasting commercial market, a game that has winners and losers, yet is hardly zero sum.

Vir: David Carr, New York Time

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