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Comment on: Business Models and Financial Trends

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 business models and financial trends in media.  (The full public notice can be found here.)

 

12)  In general, what categories of journalism are most in jeopardy in the digital era?  What categories are likely to flourish?  While much is still to be determined as media companies test various business models and payment approaches in the coming years, based on what is known now, are there news and information needs that commercial market mechanisms alone are unlikely to serve adequately? 

 

13)  Many media companies are struggling, but others are reporting healthy profits.  What explains the differences in performance?  What roles are played by debt levels, consolidation patterns, government policies, geography, diversity of and/or decline in revenue streams, technological innovation, cost reductions, and audience growth?

 

14)  How do trends in advertising affect the viability of different models? Will the abundance of advertising inventory prevent web advertising rates from rising to a level that could support more online content models?  Or will demographic or locational targeting or other technologies raise advertising rates?  What effect will such advertising trends have on consumer privacy?

 

15)  Does the efficiency and specialization of the Internet make it less likely to support the cross-subsidies that existed for many decades within newspapers (in which, for example, popular human interest content effectively cross-subsidized news reporting)?

 

16)  In the aggregate, how much money do Americans spend on news and information media and how has that changed over time?  Which companies and industries have benefited from these shifts and which have suffered?

 

Please weigh in on any of these questions, or offer your own.

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