In one of his books, Kurt Vonnegut tells us about the golden era of literature and short stories. An era when newspapers had more adds than they could handle, so they constant hunger for content gave infinite job for all the talented and less talented writers they had in the country. Then came the radio, or tv, or I cannot remember, and whipped out the whole job market, forcing the writers to starve again and publish their work in books instead of newspaper. It was not more than maybe one or two decades, and the golden era gone forever.
Evolution vs. intelligent design – does this fight exist in business, too? For sure. And just as in science, the later is more like a ironic nickname as honest reference for the mental skills of the creator(s).
So here is the story: I know it is a terrible kind of journalism, but still just wanted to dig this info-graphics on traditional media (made by TotalBankruptcy.com and presented/commented by Anna Helm).
While I like more the analysis of this changes that the bare information itself, yet, data show very nicely what everyone know, and no one who should act do acknowledge: traditional media business is dying, wide and open. From these data what is obvious, people do not like physical products that much anymore. If you like to collect all the magazines you will really read sometime later, you can easily understand this sentiment. It also say something about SOPA: the act inherently asumes that the problem of the old media is the pirates and evil torrentes. While most bureaucratic systems work hard to track down efficiently stay-at-home-moms downloading crap TV shows and punish them at least as harshly as a pedophile or mass murder, it is bull*.
People watch streaming Netflix, and do not rent videos not because they want to rob and pirate someone. People lost their apetite for paper based news not because they illegally download all the news from the net. People may skip the cinemas, because their consuming habits changed, and maybe because they are less enthusiastic about the latest “The return of the transformers of the Caribbean – re-released in 3D, Part 2b,- the Movie “. Yes, George Lucas, you are the epitome of the greedy, fat director who couldn’t even make one decent movie in his life. OK, except maybe your graduation work.
People download TV shows from the internet, because they are not available in their country! You like “Game of Thrones”? Booboo, bad answer. It is not available on 80% of this planet, even if you would starvingly hunt the desert to find an opportunity to subscribe a whole channe just to watch that one show. Yet, if you download it in Japan or Nepal, HBO wants to send Chuck Norris after you. So what about actually sending Chuck Norris with a suitcase full of contracts, and selling the products for money, dear old media, on platforms that are available, or even convenient for the buyers?
Never thought about it? IMPOSSIBLE? iTunes makes billions just selling the same old crap songs on the same old crap price in a pretty closed platform, and able to do it just because 1) Steve Jobs had enough power to hardball with the music industry, and make them cooperate, 2) people are willing to buy the same crap instead of downloading it for free from somewhere, just because it is more convenient for them to buy, store, and browse song-by-song that doing it with a CD. Yes, you read well: those evil pirates, who watch illegal Youtube versions of your song, who dare to download illegally the lyrics of the latest literary gem of Justin Bieber, the very same people actually BUY SONGS PAYING WITH ACTUAL MONEY!
So the strange thing happen, and history repeats itself: the classic media starving to death slowly and steadily like dinosaurs in the dark cold nights, and governments and legislation backed up with innocently giggling media empires can try to act like God, they have not much more chance to survive in the same form than a T-Rex. They believe in intelligent design, they believe in a world where Gods sets the rule, creates what he creates and it will stick. Nature just doesn’t work like this. We are in the age when every 5-10 years technology redefines how we live, how we love, how we interact with each other. Vonnegut was describing the media some half centuries ago, and how its glorious past died in a mare decade or two. Even if you do not believe that the Internet is a game-changer like the invention of the book printing, or that our word spins faster and faster, Vonnegut’s story warns that maybe in 2011 the music industry will not face the same situation in business then in the times of The Beatles. Selling CDs instead of LPs, selling concert tickets and that is it? I can smell a dinosaur dung from miles.