Good read on GigaOm about Google’s head of news products Richard Gingras recently comparing newspapers to old-fashioned internet portals like Yahoo, and suggesting that unless media companies can adapt to the Web rather than fighting it, they are likely doomed.
Some highlights via GigaOm are:
On how newspapers got to where they are:
We look back at the 40 golden years of newspaper profitability as if things had been structured that way forever. But these four decades were triggered by an earlier media disruption: television. The rise of television advertising caused a contraction in the newspaper business, where major metropolitan markets went from supporting 4-5 newspapers to 1-2 papers. The limited number of remaining companies allowed monopolitistic pricing. This wealth was created by disruption, and what disruption gives, it taketh away.
On the iPad as the savior of journalism:
[The iPad is] a fatal distraction for media companies. Too many publishers looked at the tablet as the road home to their magazine format, subscription model, and expensive full-page ads. The format of a single device does not change the fundamental ecosystem underneath it, and this shiny tablet has taken media companies’ eyes off of the ball.