Media Mogul Barry Diller speaks to USA Today about a wide range of Media-related issues ranging from Facebook and Twitter to cable TV. What I found particularly interesting though were his views on the future of print:
Q: What’s the future of print media in the Internet age?
A: “If you’ve got ink on your hands, which means that you’re a print person, you’re finished. These news-gathering organizations depended upon being the only place in town. And everybody has advertising now. So, it’s a very tough transition.
“You’re going to pay for information that you want. And you’re going to pay directly, which means there’s going to be either micropayments or subscriptions. Advertising in the new world order can’t support much of anything. Therefore, you’re going to have hybrid business models that are going to have subscription revenues and other types of revenues.
I couldn’t agree more. The problem with print on the internet is that everyone is giving away the store for free assuming that banner and click-thru ads will replace the revenue lost from print advertising AND subscriptions.
That’s clearly not been the norm so far which is why layoffs at newspapers are at record pace.
The only Print media that will actually thrive online is media that can actually C-H-A-R-G-E for content just like they did for print. Otherwise expect to see skeleton staffs targeting their resources to reporting that generates the best synergy with online advertising.