As there has been so much upheaval in the television industry in the past few months I thought I would write a piece about where things are at and where things are going.
The Australian media industry are in a major period of change. newspapers ,books ,television and even radio are all caught up in this change.
Most recently the nine network barely staved of there creditors to survive and re capitalise . Then there is the case of network ten who have been reducing news staff nationally in an effort to reduce costs and become profitable. Major network personalities left the network in one week of staff sackings.
Why is this happening?
There are a few reasons. Advertising money is leaving traditional media forms. The global financial crisis has created an atmosphere where spending and downsizing has become common place. Traditional media is struggling to stay profitable . Demographics have also changed ,young people no longer read newspapers or watch tv they have long since departed to the digital realm.
Where is that audience. By the time the 6pm news rolls around the news is generally old by a few hours. The modern media consumer now has smart phones and tablets . They now have the ability to have that news instantly. Secondly who in 2012 is home at 6pm at night? . With this new technology one can consume the news when they want and how they want.
The next question is how do these organisations make money from this medium. The answer is it is not easy. One can get the latest news the latest films and dramas for free if you want to. The media outlets have to give a reason to want to subscribe or pay. This might come through added services or content. Advertising over news or video is something a lot of consumers wont tolerate as they find it intrusive to the viewing experience.
Newspapers are on there last legs . Both of the big players in Australia are suffering falling sales and advertising revenue. The survival of both companies will be in both of them diversifying into the modern media space. Both have quite a lot of applications for mobile . These deliver video ,news and various other content to iPads iphones and the like. But they have not solved the overwhelming problem with most of the content being free where is the future revenue going to come from.
My other question is how long can fairfax and news hold onto publishing a daily print product. News delivers a very good newspaper product onto tablets with its digital pass. For a minimal fee per week you get the paper on your tablet and the physical paper. Fairfax currently delivers there news for free. Why would I pay for something that I can get free elsewhere. This is the fundamental problem facing all media forms in Australia.