I recently wrote about how Old Media industry bigwigs are now embracing New Media. The LA Times reports today that NBC and News Corp. are the latest heavyweights to validate the New Media model, popularized by YouTube: free, on-demand content supported by advertising. (Actually, this model isn’t new. Network television has been doing free content for years. It’s the On-Demand part that is relatively new, that and a revolutionary new mediUM called the internet.)
It seems clear to all now that if they don’t adapt in this way they will simply be left for dead. People want to watch what they want, when they want it and via the medium they choose. Either give it to them (and build a relationship, ala YouTube and its legion of fanatics) or they will just find it elsewhere.
This is exactly what is going on right now in the music biz. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday:
In a dramatic acceleration of the seven-year sales decline that has battered the music industry, compact-disc sales for the first three months of this year plunged 20% from a year earlier, the latest sign of the seismic shift in the way consumers acquire music… Digital sales of individual songs this year have risen 54% from a year earlier to 173.4 million, according to Nielsen SoundScan. But that’s nowhere near enough to offset the 20% decline from a year ago in CD sales to 81.5 million units. Overall, sales of all music — digital and physical — are down 10% this year.
No duh! If NBC and News get it, why can’t the RIAA get it? Music consumers want to listen to what they want, when they want it and via the medium they choose. It’s the New Media model: free, on-demand content supported by advertising. This is the media revolution! It’s the internet, stupid! Embrace it or be left for dead.