This week’s Economist includes an interesting story on the competitive pressures being faced by newspapers. One of the observations about successful newspapers in this competitive, digital world is the ability of the newspaper to exploit its on-line presence. Successful newspapers were able to not only use their existing content on the Internet, but were also able to expand the reach of their paper and create compelling content to attract their readers and others to the website. This includes the extensive use of audio and video.
On Friday, I participated in a live webcast, "Webcasting for Rookies" sponsored by the International Webcasters Association. In a discussion with Michael Gordon of Limelight, the content delivery network, a similar observation was made – that newspapers are some of the biggest users of streaming media. He observed that newspapers did not view on-line audio and video as competitive to their primary product, but instead as complementary, so they were more willing to promote their on-line product. Conversely, broadcasters were reluctant to exploit the Internet, as it was seen as being more like broadcasting, and more threatening.
Mr. Gordon’s comments, and those of the other speakers including my discussion of legal issues for webcasters, can be accessed here (free registration required). Broadcasters should take note. As the Internet grows, they don’t want others to steal their audiences by doing what broadcasters do best – audio and video.