Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Converged Media Ahoy

I've argued earlier, that print publishing companies are going to look more like the BBC in future - part publishing, part web and part TV. The Hearst Magazines, US, which produce Cosmopolitan and Esquire are among those proving me right. And while Cosmo TV may start with being more like video content on a website, more and more aspects of the TV model will permeate over time. Key characteristics being scheduled programming, delivery to a TV set and a one-to-many broadcast model.

This is a good example of a converged business model - but to drive benefits, needs to work across the customer relationships and profiling layers and integrate operationally.

Talking of which the Sky-Virgin stand off is a harbinger of things to come as each business looks at establishing hegemoney over what is now a converged value chain. Today it's Sky the channel versus Virgin the platform. You can bet Virgin will seek its pound of flesh if and when the tables are turned. The ripples may be felt on Freeview as Sky mulls taking its channels to pay TV to offset the loss of revenues. This seems like a classic lose-lose solution. Virgin loses audience and popular programming, Sky loses revenue, and a lot of viewers lose content they're used to. It seems like a hugely retrogressive step. While the world ponders more interoperability and Web 2.0 takes root, traditional TV viewers are forced to choose between one platform versus another and undertake painful switching costs or lose their favourite programs. This is the kind of things which pushes people into Youtube. These are the triggers which create inflexion in the industry.


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