Forget everything you think you know

Posted on Jun 3, 2009 in Viden

If you’ve read my blog before you know that I have been pointing fingers at the record industry for a while.

Last night I ran into this clip of Jeff Jarvis:

And it was kind of an eye opener to me. He actually somewhat said some of the same things that I have said before (which could mean that I have a point) but his words just kind of made the whole problem crystal clear to me.

The businesses that are currently struggling are the ones that are desperately trying to keep their media of distribution. Again – distribution is the key word here, because that is the one thing  the internet can do better than any distribution network or channel have been able to before – it gives every single person the ability to chose exactly what he wants, when he wants it and in what form.

As I have previously mentioned Record companies are struggling because they still see themselves as “record distributors” – they have been, and still are, focused on the media of distributing the music. But the actual product that they are selling is not records. It is music, and if people want that as an MP3 or on their cell phone, that shouldn’t really matter. But if you focus all effort on maintaining music on cds because that is what used to make you money, then you will fail miserably.

Newspapers are struggling because they still see themselves as “papers” – they have been, and still are, focused on the media of distributing the news. But the actual product that they are selling is not paper. It is journalism, and if people want that in an RSS feed or on their cell phone, that shouldn’t really matter. But if you focus all effort on maintaining news on paper because that is what used to make you money, then you will fail miserably.

Advertising agencies are struggling because they still see themselves as “advertisers” – they have been, and still are, focused on the media they reach consumers by. But the actual product that they are selling is not advertising. It is telling companies how to best reach their customers, and if people want to be reached on blogs or on twitter, that shouldn’t really matter. But if you focus all effort on maintaining talking to your customers through advertising because that is what used to make you money, then you will fail miserably.

The list is long but you catch the drift.

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