Traditional Media, Feeling the Squeeze, Is Forced to Experiment

As the Economist notes, media firms are in a mode where they must experiment with new media revenue streams, or they run of risk of remaining on the sidelines to watch the changing of the guard in their industry from afar. Because their old businesses no longer generate the kind of revenue they used to, experimentation has become a necessity for these big media firms, who are now under pressure from shareholders demanding to see evidence of such forward thinking. All this means traditional media firms have become some of the world’s busiest companies, shedding weighty assets and corporate legacy structures in favor of new-media investments, often through acquisition. NBC and News Corp. come to mind for their respective purchases of iVillage, the women’s Web portal, and MySpace, the popular social networking site. Still other media companies are investing in developing and distributing their own content, such as CBS Corp., which this week has made the NCAA basketball tournament available free via live stream on its Web site, accompanied, of course, by advertising. In fact, some analysts say that in a few years almost all media firms will have their full body of content accessible online–and for people in offices, who in theory will be able to access that content via the Web, “daytime will become the new prime time.” CBS, understanding that most of its NCAA tourney watchers will be at work, has conveniently provided them with a “Boss Button,” which calls up a fake spreadsheet at a moments notice.     – Read the whole story…

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