Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Sea Change for Traditional Media?

Yahoo and GE/NBC made a very interesting merger announcement today. They are going to combine their Spanish language websites and share advertising revenue. Most folks seem to be reporting it as media companies “growing interest in the Spanish language market”. I agree, but having worked at NBC and NBCi actually see it as potentially quite a bit more than that. Many traditional media companies and NBC in particular have been slow to embrace the internet and even slower to embrace new media partnerships like the one that announced today. Knowing how GE/NBC makes decisions this announcement represents a huge change. I think it’s a major shift in mindset for them that indicates more openness to partnerships of all kinds. This trend is already under way at other media companies like Fox and Disney, but now NBC seems to be very serious about leading the way

This makes total sense to me. Traditional media companies have a long been adept at producing great shared experience content and aggregating large audiences around that. And there’s going to continue to be a large (albeit shrinking) market, for that. Yahoo and other online media companies including startups have led the way in interactive and long tail content and services. It’s becoming apparent that it’s tough for either to have leadership in the other category. Yet there is tremendous value to be created for companies and consumers by combining the two competencies. Partnership makes sense and I think we are entering a time when attitudes are changing and it going to become much easier to form partnerships that exploit the core competencies from both camps. And not just big companies like Yahoo, but for start-ups too. Perhaps Stu should add a TV/Movie 2.0 category to his list.

For entrepreneurs this is fantastic opportunity. It may now be seriously worth spending the time to consider how you might create and get value from the large audiences that traditional media companies aggregate. If you’ve got any great ideas let me know, I may be able to help with some introductions.


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September 04, 2006 12:51 AM  

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