Every media company is a media company ... and there's the rub

Every media company is a media company ... and there's the rub

Summary: Media companies are in trouble because they have to compete against a multitude of companies producing media as a loss leader.

TOPICS: IT Employment

Every company is a media company because every company, no matter if it makes ball bearings or diapers, as to publish in many different channels and formats to be visible. If you aren't seen amidst all the media noise, you don't exist.

It's not easy being a media company because you need to develop the skills to do it well. But lots of businesses know that they need these capabilities and they are beefing up by adding former journalists, and other media specialists, to their staff.

The media those companies produce is a loss leader, it's a cost of doing business.

And that's why media companies lose money, media is a loss leader. But unlike other companies, they have nothing else to sell.

Every company is a media company — but every media company is just a media company -- and that's the problem: they need to also become something else. They now live in a world where they have more competitors than God -- it's no wonder they can't make money.

Media companies will be able to weather the storm of disruption if they adopt what I call a "Heinz 57" business model — they have to develop a variety of revenue streams -- in addition to how they currently make (or mostly lose) money.

When every company is a media company you'll lose if all you are is a media company.

Topic: IT Employment

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  • God has competitors?


    I'd think the job requirements would weed out, well, everyone else! (laughing)
    • The Flying Spaghetti Monster...

      is knocking on the door and would like to differ with you. :-D
  • Makes sense, but have to disagree on two points.

    The successful media companies of the last century built that success on control of the distribution system as much as by actual content creation. That's where we got the newspaper, book, film and music cartels of today. The cartels were also good at locking out the biggest possible competition, that of existing and public domain works. That control started to crumble with the advent of consumer access to new channels and the rise of used media sources, and it really failed when the internet came along.

    So media companies have two options. The first one is the attempt to reestablish iron control of distribution and limit competition. Now we have the 11 copyright extension acts that have put the vast majority of prior works into a limbo of "copyrighted but undistributed" status. The internet industry in the form of Google and Youtube provide some small means of accessing these works, but they are under heavy attack from the cartels.

    The other option is to compete on quality. But quality is expensive, take a lot of skill and experience, and is not always commercially viable. Many classic works were created without financial consideration or success. Beethoven's 5th and Hamlet were not great commercial successes, at least for their creators. But media companies who compete on quality probably have the best chance of success n the new era. As consumers begin to tire of the inundation of media choices, quality providers have the best chance of prevailing and succeeding. But it won't be easy.
    terry flores