The Battle begins:
Rupert Murdoch interviews at Sky News, Australia that his media house of the Sun, the Times and the Wall Street Journal will de-index itself from Google Search. Reason: Because Google takes away their readers parasitically. The media swords are drawn against Google and the clank (sound of emptiness, is it?) spreads like fire across the internet through blogs, twitter, mails etc. I Repeat: … through blogs, twitter and mails et cetera!
Murdoch adds things like he does not agree with the idea that search engines fall under “fair use” rules, that he’d like to charge people for reading their news stories, and some more literally-crap-stuff like “we have it already with the Wall Street Journal. We have a wall, but it’s not right to the ceiling”. It almost feels like a joke of distress they are in when trying to re-define things like “fair use” and the “way” people want to read news.
Watch this interview again:
To this, Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt explains (read this) that its not them at all. And quite frankly, Google is indeed sending roughly a billion clicks to the news publishers every month. According to Eric, Google is “a great source of promotion”. And clank!! There goes the sword from Google in defense of things-as-they-are over the internet today. However bad it might be for the Media Moghuls. Google softly enamors the publishers by relating the developments caused by internet to something that happened earlier when the Radio or Television arrived. The situation is likened to how 24 hours news etc. challenged print then and yet everyone eventually co-existed.
And then Eric pictures the year of 2015 which would be significantly different from today; where hand held devices will adapt according to taste of individual readers and advertising (revenues) will also be handled differently… and blah, blah, blah in almost a bid to divert from the fact that internet has already challenged everyone else in business before. The geeks are doing it left, right and center.
That’s just about enough for a rather lame battle with a misdirected blame-missile from print media and a falsely assurance from the internet giant that happened between the two industries. Well Google, we all know that you are not responsible for uprooting the traditional media. But likening the modern day media crises to the advent of Television or Radio a few decades ago and then painting a scenario where print will co-exist as it did with the new service called Internet is nothing less than criminal.
Let the Geeks set it straight for you: Print media, you will have to die.
The blogs, twitters and every single atomic unit of news reporting is gonna gobble you up and all other “uneconomical processes around the world”. Completely.
Take the case of Print industry simply:
They have a huge capital & operational cost involved: In that they have to engage with heavy press & machinery, depend on fuel dependent logistics, depend on felling down of trees, depend on hired workforce to collect news and then finally reach the end-consumer at a price (the last thorn thrust by the side of a reader). All this for just a ten-minute read up? And how does this entire exercise help an advertising client in between? It gives just a thin probability that readers would remember a name when buying a pizza from the nearby square market?
Compare this for a blog with a team of a few good men. Really few. Follow TechCrunch, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb (and NextBigWhat.com also) and thousands of more out there and just compare their readership or revenue stats with that of any typical media house. Compare all the components of the balance sheet. And you’ll stop thinking that in next ten years we will even have any Rupert Murdochs left blaming Googles for shattering their industry?
This is exactly what Wikipedia did to hard-back encyclopedia, YouTube did to music video/TV Channels, Napster did to CD sales & Music Industry etc. And this is what what Kindle would eventually do to print/books industry too. And why not? Why wouldn’t I want to stop cutting of trees or read fresh news for free?
A team of 20-25 efficient people (read Geeks), a modest capital investment and zero logistics will eventually wipe off all inefficient industries. And print is one of them. There is no choice for the traditional inefficiencies to survive in the face of internet. This is the true nature of internet: disruptive as Eric Schmidt aptly put it.
Adapt geeks quickly or go back to the SHADOWS.