Newspapers Get Told

By April 8, 2009 Internet News No Comments

SiliconAlleyInsider today printed an article about Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s keynote speech at the Newspaper Association of America’s annual convention. As we all know, newspaper publishers have been whinging long and hard now about the fact that their traditional business model is becoming obsolete and that their content is being hijacked and reprinted around the web.

Well, at the convention, in front of all the newspaper big wigs and professionals, Eric Schmidt gave a simple message – that their business model is going to have to change, and that Google can help them with the way forward.

Now, I am all for the reinvention of business models. Newspapers traditional model is no longer working, but they can’t complain that technology is making them obsolete, they have to move with the times. I think the same thing about movie and music downloading – new technology and business models need to be created, because no matter what you do, the technology cannot be ‘undid’. It has been created, it is going to grow, there isn’t a way back. Learn how to move with it.

At a conference earlier this year I heard one of the managers of Kodak speak about the impact of technology on their business model. How for nearly 100 years they had only one product – film, and that that one product built them up into an international company. In the last 10 years or so, that one product has obviously been impacted by advances in technology, and so Kodak moved with that, and now film is only a very minor part of their business. They are still a multinational company with a healthy bottom line, but a lot of that new revenue is now coming from new technology and new products.

Search Engine Lands Danny Sullivan has also published a rebuttle regarding newspapers complaints about the stealing of their content. His rant turns the tables on particular established media – like the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph – and points out how they regularly steal content and images for their own use, all in the name of  ‘news’.

As a journalist himself, previously in traditional media and now for his own ‘blog’, Danny Sullivan knows the story from both sides. I hope that some of the newspapers actually read it.

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