Big media companies, just don't get it.

First to go - The Newspaper.... once the largest media industry in the world, now headed straight into the crapper....

According to the Newspaper Association of America, in 1940, there was a total circulation of 32 million newspapers. In 1990, they had a total circulation of 62.6 million - the highest ever.

It took the newspaper industry 50 years to increase their circulation by 30 million. Its only taken them 18 years to lose almost half that.... 13.5 million.

In 2008 (the last year the NAA has statistics for on their website) circulation was down to 49 million, and is steadily declining 2 million per year. That number growing exponentially each year.

So what caused this? The Internet? Negative... the Internet did not cause the demise of the Newspaper industry... the Newspaper Industry's failure to embrace the Internet and utilize it, is what has caused their demise. Their own top brass killed them. They decided to ignore the Internet, and in some cases, flat out fight it.

But alas, it's not just the Newspaper industry that is so foolish. Lets switch our attention to the Movie and Music industries. We all know who the RIAA and MPAA are don't we? Not because they have provided us with some great product or service, and we want to tell all of our friends about it, no! Many of us never heard of either organization until sometime in the early 2000's... but they have been around for ages. The MPAA was formed initially in 1922, and the RIAA formed in 1952.

So why are these two acronyms household names now? Yep - LAWSUITS. These two organizations have spent the last 10 years suing John Q. Public over downloading songs and movies from the Internet.

So here we have another huge industry that is not only ignoring the Internet as this great new vehicle to make a shit-ton of cash with, but adamantly fighting it....

Best Buy announced last Friday, that they will be slashing CD and DVD inventory from their stores to make room for better selling items, like computers and MP3 players.

Is this because people are PIRATING music and movies at such a rate that no one is buying them any more? Again, negative...

Apple's iTunes store, sold its 10th BILLION song back in February. 10 BILLION!! Doesn't sound to me like piracy is running rampant. Sounds to me like people just changed the ways they purchase music.

Movies are doing just as well, with Amazon and Netflix as forerunners in the Internet delivery system of movies.

Yet the Music industry and Movie industry are still reluctant to jump in on this "new" phenomena... why?? Because they are all full of old baby boomers who are scared of technology.... well... we'll see you in the annals of big media companies who have FAILED because your heads were too far up your ass to understand how people consume media....

Even artists are going around the big mega-corps and releasing their tracks directly on the Internet, and in many, many cases, giving it away for FREE. Why, you ask? Typically, artists see shit from CD sales. They get an upfront amount, and that's it. If the album flops, or if it goes triple platinum most just see that initial check...

They make their money off of concerts and other appearances. So why not give it away?? Many people who may never hear them because they don't want to shell out $20 for a CD, may very well download something for FREE to "check it out". And if they like it, they may even go see the band in concert when they come to his town... That's where they make their money...

Although, in the RIAA's defense... they recently announced they will stop suing you if you download a song. Gee, thanks guys!

This all pretty much has been leading up to this next story.... Google, the #1 Internet company who has bridged many aspects of daily life with the Internet (i.e. Google Voice, GOOG-411, GoogleMaps, GoogleMobile, etc..) is introducing GoogleTV....

Internet enabled TV is nothing new. I've been doing it for many years - first with BeyondTV, and for the past several years now, with SageTV...

DVR's started the demise of traditional TV, in that it allowed you to watch your favorite shows, when you wanted to... not on the TV exec's schedule... not only that... it allowed you to fast forward through all the commercials... GASP!! That's how TV companies make money... so do they change their business model now that peoples consumption methods have changed? And yet again... Negative....

They instead try to get Congress to allow them to encode their commercials so they can't be skipped... What?? Really?

So then The HTPC (Home Theater PC) arrives on the scene... not only is it a DVR, but its a media library, with Internet access... YouTube videos on your TV... how novel. But it's a blast.

For years when I've demonstrated my HTPC for friends and family, they are all amazed, and would love to have it... but it's a rather difficult task to do if you're not too computer savvy....

So in comes Google. They have partnered with Sony to introduce an Internet Enabled TV, based on the GoogleTV platform. They have also teamed up with Logitech, who is developing a set top box, that will add GoogleTV to your current TV. Basically a Plug-and-Play HTPC (although I am unsure about the media library capabilities)....

So Google approaches the networks, to try and get them on board....

ALL MAJOR NETWORKS DECLINED!!!

HBO jumped on, but their content will only be available to HBO subscribers... A few news agencies will run stock feeds, or sports scores...

But ABC,CBS,NBC and FOX all declined...

Sure, they have content on Hulu, and that's great - it shows they are testing the waters... but the selection of shows is limited, mostly older shows, and often times poor quality... I'll admit I watch many shows on Hulu....

Now while Hulu shows they are at least playing around with the ideas, Hulu Plus just shows what types of idiots these guys really are....

For those of you not in the know, Hulu is a website where you can watch a bunch of TV shows and Movies, for FREE. You will have to watch commercials, but not nearly as many as on a regular TV broadcast (though I do notice they are sneaking more and more in slowly)....

Hulu Plus is their subscription based service. Now many people were looking forward to Hulu Plus... that is, until they announced that those people who subscribe to Hulu Plus for $10 a month, will still have to sit through the commercials.... I'm sorry - Im just not going to pay you $10 a month to watch old ALF reruns, littered with Sprint commercials.... sorry... get a new business plan....

So to sum up this god awful long ass post.... Media Companies need to get their heads out of their asses, and understand times have changed and we no longer want to haul around a book full of CD's or have a shelf full of DVD's... My iPhone has 16GB of memory... I could put every CD I own on it and still have plenty of space left... granted - my musical tastes are pretty limited, and most bands I like have 30 second to 1.5 minute songs.....

So either jump on the bandwagon that is the Internet and work with it, or fight it and it's millions of users and go curl up and die with the Newspapers... I'll continue downloading media from iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, and wherever else I can... I'll be happy to pay you for it....

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,