Via an email from Spacey Gracey, I was asked to answer a question posed by Dan Greenfield, corporate communications director for Earthlink. On his blog Bernaise Source, he asks, "What was (were) the most notable PR/marketing social media trend(s) or event(s) in 2006 and why?"
As the 800-lb. broadcasts are wrestled to the ground and pricked to death by millions of pint-sized narrowcasts, the trend I see arising on an epidemic scale is the waning ability to fund media ventures with advertising revenue. Advertising with traditional media companies has become as fashionable as any movie starring The Coreys, and no one has really figured out how to make money with newer forms of media.
Hear the sucking noise from newspapers...
Sites like eBay, Monster.com and Craigslist are killing the newspaper classified ad business. Even if they weren't, newspaper circulation saw its sharpest circulation drop in 15 years during the past six months, which means that newspapers would do just fine killing advertising revenue on their own without help from those sites.
Hear the sucking noise from television...
Tivo and other DVRs are projected to suck $600 million from TV ad revenues in 2007. That doesn't sound like a big piece of the $46 billion TV ads pie, but it should be noted that $600 million would be a 100 percent increase over the year before. That number will hit the multiple billions in a few years, and the explosion of Internet video isn't going to help either.
And wait for the sucking noise from terrestrial radio...
Terrestrial radio ad revenue was flat last year, while the number of podcasts exploded, and are projected to grow from 840,000 in 2005 to 56 million in 2010. Terrestrial radio is a dinosaur standing in the way of an oncoming comet.
So, old media's revenue stream is dying. Now what?
Every time I've asked a media company how they're going to make money on these emerging technologies, I'm answered with a shrug and/or an "I-dunno."
If I knew the answer, I'd be rich right now. Amber and I have a few ideas we plan to test out in the next year or two, and we would of course love to hear yours.