Posted April 6th, 2010 by Andrew Kaplan - Special Assistant to the Future of Media project
With the news media struggling to survive in the Internet age, questions are being raised as to who will pay for quality journalism. In an essay written by Adam Thierer and Berin Szoka of the Progress and Freedom Foundation, the authors critique proposals that increase the government role in sustaining journalism or promoting more “public interest” content.
Posted March 24th, 2010 by Andrew Kaplan - Special Assistant to the Future of Media project
Some media executives, like Slate chairman Jacob Weisberg, believe media companies should require readers to pay for content when delivered in a “specific, convenient, dedicated form” such as the iPhone or Kindle, but keep Web sites free.
Posted March 12th, 2010 by Andrew Kaplan - Special Assistant to the Future of Media project
The Game Developers Conference was held this week in San Francisco. On the surface, you wouldn’t think that this convocation would be an event of great interest to those working on, and thinking about, the future of media.
Posted March 2nd, 2010 by Christopher Clark - Special Assistant to the Future of Media project
Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has released an interesting study about online news consumption. Currently, more people get their news from the Internet than from any other medium, other than TV. Some of the news and information most commonly sought online include weather forecasts, national news, information about health/medicine, and business/financial news. When seeking out these (and other) types of information, most Americans (92%) utilize multiple platforms (e.g., national TV, local TV, Internet, national newspapers, local newspapers, radio) in a typical day. Those who use the web tend to visit only a few news sites regularly, and a significant percentage of online news consumers value portability, the opportunity to participate in creating news, and the ability to customize the news content that they receive. Social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter play a significant role in news dissemination. Check out the study for yourself and view the press release here.Posted in Research and Studies , Internet and Mobile
Posted March 1st, 2010 by Dana Scherer - Senior Policy Analyst, Media Bureau
After they lost their radio jobs, deejay Mike O’Meara, sidekicks Robb Spewak, Oscar Zeballos, and “news guy” Michael Elston opted to take their show to the Internet. Zeballos argues that listening to traditional radio programs and advertising is like watching wallpaper: you know it’s there, but you don’t pay much attention to it. In contrast, he says, podcast listeners actively seek out programs, making them far more likely to be engaged in the accompanying commercials. (See Mike Musgrove, “With this Radio Gig, Who Needs FM?,” Washington Post, Feb. 21, 2010 at G1.)
Paul Camp writes in a Future of Media comment that readers who self-select news and information online miss out on the serendipity factor. When you listen to the radio or thumb through a newspaper, you may encounter a hidden gem of a story that you otherwise might have missed. Paul calls this an “unsung beauty” that neither advertisers nor consumers have fully valued.
Another facet of online-offline media dynamics is the “Water-Cooler Effect.” Brian Stelter in the New York Times discusses how the Internet can enable television viewers to alert each other to and engage in national conversations about politics, sports, and entertainment. While consumer split their time between computer and television screens, the two screens reinforce, rather than compete with each other. (See Brian Stelter, “Water –Cooler Effect: Internet Can be TV’s Friend,” New York Times, Feb. 24, 2010 at A1.)
Do you think these forms of gathering news and information will co-exist in the long term, or do you expect one will dominate? What do you think are the public interest costs and benefits of each? How do you think advertisers will react?Posted in Ideas and Debates , Business Models and Financial Trends , Commercial TV and Radio , Internet and Mobile , Newspapers and Magazines
Posted February 4th, 2010 by Andrew Kaplan - Special Assistant to the Future of Media project
This past Tuesday, Frontline, an investigative journalism show airing nationally on PBS, explored how digital technologies are changing every aspect of our lives, including how we consume media in a 90 minute documentary Digital Nation: Life on the Virtual Frontier.
Posted February 3rd, 2010 by Dana Scherer - Senior Policy Analyst, Media Bureau
Standard and Poor’s has a similar estimate in its August 2008 Publishing Survey. [James Peters, Industry Surveys: Publishing (includes Advertising), Standard and Poor's, Aug. 21, 2008, at 26.]
The rule of thumb is that an online ad brings in at most about one-tenth the revenue as the same as the same ad in a newspaper. There are two reasons for this: readers spend less time reading a paper online than they do a newspaper, and because ad space is not scarce on the Web, advertisers pay lower rates.” [Ken Auletta,”Chasing the Fox,” Googled, 2009, at 165.]
Do you think that these estimates are valid? Do you think these estimates will persist? If so, could the paper dollars vs. digital dimes ratio apply to subscription revenues as well?
Posted in Ideas and Debates , Business Models and Financial Trends , Internet and Mobile , Newspapers and Magazines
Posted February 2nd, 2010 by Andrew Kaplan - Special Assistant to the Future of Media project
Posted January 20th, 2010 by William Freedman - Associate Bureau Chief, Media Bureau
The Future of Media project encourages comments and suggestions on the key questions about the changing media landscape. This post includes questions about the Internet and mobile media. (The full public notice can be found here.)
31) With regard to the Internet and mobile-based applications, which news or information operations are successful, and why? How should we define success? Do they tend toward a particular type of information or format (e.g., news, commentary, independent, government-generated, user-generated, advocacy-oriented programming)? What are the most successful business models (e.g., for-profit, non-profit, subscription, micro-payments, advertising-based)?
32) What role will and should user-generated journalism play? In what ways can it improve upon traditional journalism, and in what ways can it not substitute for traditional journalism? How can the quality and effectiveness of citizen journalism be further improved?
33) What have been the trends for online advertising in general and specifically advertising supporting news and information parts of websites, both nationally and locally? How about on mobile platforms?
34) What might be the role of popular technolgies heretofore associated with entertainment or social interaction, such as gaming systems or social media?
35) How would policies related to “open Internet” or “universal broadband” or other FCC policies about communications infrastructure affect the likelihood that the Internet will meet the information needs of communities? Are there search engine practices that might positively or negatively affect web-based efforts to provide news or information?
36) Do minority-owned media or media targeted to minority communities use broadband tools differently than other media?
37) What kinds of digital and media literacy programs are appropriate to help people both use new information and communication technologies effectively and to analyze and evaluate the news and information they are receiving?
38) With regard to mobile devices, what role will mobile communications services and devices play in meeting the news and information needs of communities during the next five to ten years? What is the impact of those trends for consumers, businesses and policymakers? Should that role be reflected in the Commission’s regulation of the industries involved?
Please weigh in on any of these questions, or offer your own.Posted in Public Notices , Ideas and Debates , Internet and Mobile
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