Disruption and Opportunity in the News Business


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These are slides for a discussion about the news business with a class at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

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  • I’ll explain the origins of Bryce Canyon (not erosion, but tectonic upheaval), and explain the tectonic shifts going on in the media business.
  • Disruption and Opportunity in the News Business

    1. 1. Disruption & Opportunity in the News Business Steve Buttry Industrial College of the Armed Forces April 9, 2012
    2. 2. Read more about it• stevebuttry.wordpress.com• slideshare.net/stevebuttry• @stevebuttry• jxpaton.wordpress.com• stephenbuttry@gmail.com
    3. 3. Your media use• Mobile (tablet, phone)• Computer (laptop, notebook, desktop)• Broadcast (TV, radio)• Print (newspaper, magazine, book, newsletter)
    4. 4. In past 6 years• Lost a lifetime’s growth in print ads• Newspapers’ print advertising fell from $47.4M (2005) to $20.7M (2011)• Inflation-adjusted decline: 62%• Fell to 1983 level in raw dollars• 1954 level adjusted for inflation
    5. 5. This change is tectonic, not cyclical
    6. 6. Clay Shirky: “Nothing will work,but everything might.”
    7. 7. Matt Welch:“Never has there been more journalismproduced or consumed, never has it beeneasier to find or create or curate newsitems, and yet this moment is beingportrayed by self-interested insiders as atale of decline and despair.”
    8. 8. John Paton: “You don’t tinker or tweak abroken model. You start again anew.”
    9. 9. Digital First principles• Digital First & print last• Put the digital people in charge• Engage the community• Core competencies: Local content & local sales• If it’s not core: reduce it, stop it, sell it or outsource it
    10. 10. Foundation to build on:• Strong brands• Local content• Local sales force• Journalistic integrity
    11. 11. Engagement = value • Computers & archives for community use • Open news meetings • Blog network • Classes • Digital audience 5x print • From loss to profit
    12. 12. Jim Brady:“Theres no silver bullet. Theres just shrapnel.”
    13. 13. Why “give it away”?• Wall Street Journal, Arkansas Democrat- Gazette have longtime paywalls• NY Times introduced “meter” last year• LA Times, Gannett adopting paywalls• “Gate” or “meter” allows some free visits, doesn’t count social or search
    14. 14. Why “give it away”?• We never charged for content• If paywalls “work,” benefit is marginal• You need to spend that money & energy developing a model for the future• Paywalls attempt to protect a failing model• Only newspapers are trying paywalls
    15. 15. John Paton:“’You’re gonna miss us when we’re gone’ is not much of a business model.”
    16. 16. Paid content opportunities?• Premium content (specialized)• Unique, high-value content• Membership (get more than content for your payment)• Mobile, tablet subscriptions• Even if people will pay, can you make more money w/ larger free audience?
    17. 17. Mobile Opportunity• 83% of U.S. adults have cellphones• 57% have smartphones• 28% have media tablet• 28% considering tablet purchase in next 6 monthsSource: Reynolds Journalism Institute 2012 study
    18. 18. Mobile-first strategy• Text alerts• Email• Applications (phones & tablets)• Social media (tweets, check-ins, tips)• Location-based news, info & commerce• Easy-to-use mobile websites• Device-flexible (not device-agnostic)• Games (phones, iPads great for games)
    19. 19. Read more about it• stevebuttry.wordpress.com• slideshare.net/stevebuttry• @stevebuttry• jxpaton.wordpress.com• stephenbuttry@gmail.com