New Media Religion
2 min read

New Media Religion

Taking “old media” to task for trying too hard and lamely to look like they have the dynamism and growth-oriented business models of “new media,” Diane Mermigas at Hollywood Reporter coins the term “new media religion” to describe the jump-on-the-bandwagon phenomenon. (She doesn’t waste any breath on the poor companies who don’t even realize there’s a bandwagon, but she does take the view that Googles geometric growth in profitability doesn’t justify their “inflated” stock price.)

Kudos, though, for pointing to the profit in the pudding of the consumer controlled media revolution:

If the likes of Google (through search and other online analytics) and Apple (through portable devices) taught us anything in 2005 it is that empowering consumers is very good business.


Consider that at this early juncture, ABC stands to make more than $3 million in incremental revenue — or pure profit — from its iPod downloads of select series like “Desperate Housewives,” compared with the $11.3 million in advertising revenue generated each hourlong episode in its conventional broadcast, Forrester Research said.

Her scald of old media for lack of “free-thinking,” “imagination” and “innovation” has the ring of cliche at this point:

While many will move their companies into the thick of a digital transition, few are skilled enough to ingeniously mine it.That will require a new generation of graduates from the Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Steven Spielberg school of mavericks and free-thinkers. It also will require a new standard for innovation and imagination, concepts that these weary industries have difficulty budgeting for much less mandating.

(Ouch, but, yeah.)

Diane has some predictable predictions, like “All content, product and service providers will become more savvy about identifying and catering to individual consumer needs and interests, all of which will command premium pricing.”

More interesting is her prediction that

A new science and accepted practice of product and serviceaccountability, and consumer information will rapidly replace thestruggling Neanderthal standards of audience measurement, creating more accurate performance metrics for media and entertainment companies, and advertisers.

Good luck. Will the dynamic economics of new media finally start to unravel the deeply entrenched and broken economic interests of old media (can you say “upfront”)? I’ll be watching Google’s foray into video with my bowl of popcorn, but don’t expect advertisers to take too many risks with their good old fashioned media mix.

Thanks to Diane for one other term:

Print and broadcast television media are due for major upheaval and new survival business models for static players in an interactive world.

“Old media” is so undescriptive. “Static media” captures it all in a phrase. The media edition of “Survivor” for 2006 will have a brand name (static) print publisher voting themselves off the island by shutting down the presses.