As sad as it is, industrial media killed itself. It is NOT the Internet that killed publishers it is the change of their business model from independent content to advertising.
A publisher used to make money by providing a given audience latest news, well researched and easy to consume. Readers paid for the news and publishers made a profit by balancing cost of news gathering and distribution with newspaper revenue. Rather simple model.
In the 70s a new business model entered the publishing industry. Advertising. While the New York Times once stated that they will never have adds… 20 years later the revenue model for the entire industry was advertising. Charging for the newspaper had nothing to do with revenue but exclusively with the fact that the papers had to report the number of sold circulation to the advertisers.
Then the Internet came to life publishers had a gigantic opportunity: a) The news could reach the subscriber even faster and b) the cost of distribution could go way down at the same time. So if news gathering, journalistic preparation and distribution would be the purpose of a publisher, The Internet would have been a blessing. But at that time publishing wasn’t about news distribution anymore but about advertising distribution. And the new advertising model wasn’t too clear to the printing industry.
And as publishers didn’t really know what their business model is, advertisers went directly to the Internet – not needing print anymore and the chewed out news world is going out of business. Well – almost.
But now the next wave is already coming. User reported news, independent blogger, instant news distribution via Twitter. And the new publishers come to live like “Customer Think”, “Social Media Today”, Twitter as a media in itself and many others.
Our world is more than ever thirsty for news, information and updates. All the publishing industry has to do, is to understand that new world, it’s dynamics and its most likely development in the future.
And 50 Million blogger have the same problem today. They hope to make money from advertising. They never will. 50 Million blogger didn’t even reach the $100 level to get paid by Google. Google has $1Billion deferred revenue in their books – money that isn’t paid out because the $100 level wasn’t reached. Advertising revenue is just not a business model – not in the long run – not for publishers – not for bloggers – and not for software publishers.