Just because a company and an industry thrived off of legacy media, doesn’t mean the Web owes them anything.
The Web doesn’t owe us money. It doesn’t owe us market share. And we can’t force consumers to not enjoy the Web and want to get products and services over it.
That’s not how things work. We have to court the Web, not the other way around.
If you want to make money off the Web, make something cool and useful. Make something that people really want. You know, like what people did back in the day.
It (the Web) doesn’t care that you have been doing this for years, you have to earn your eyeballs like everyone else. Telling us that you deserve special treatment sounds a bit like a multinational bank saying it needs a handout because of the credit crunch. Cause and effect.
Obviously, this applies to the journalism/newspaper industry, where many journalists openly yearn for the “Good old days.” Those might have been the good old days for some people (technologically challenged journalists and publishers), but they certainly weren’t for our readers and our audience. People love getting news on their computers and mobile devices.
I’m tired of hearing about crippled Web products that are designed to get people to buy the print version. We should be able to make money off of our Web products, without a print tie in.
But this isn’t some journalism-specific phenomenon. Just about every major media industry believes the Web owes it something.
The recording industry and the idiotic RIAA are trying to get Congress to subsidized their last-century business model with a tax on everyone’s Internet service. As if Americans should be forced to pay a tax to prop up an industry that refuses to adapt and adjust. That’s not our problem. That’s ridiculous.
The movie industry and the MPAA has been fighting joining the digital revolution even more fiercely than the RIAA. Yes, some movies are finally available to download or digitally rent, but the MPAA makes new releases wait a month after their DVD release before they can show up on the Web.
Why? Because the MPAA can’t give up on DVD sales. The MPAA is hoping people will want to see a new release so badly that they’ll buy the DVD in that month time frame. You know that month when a new release is ridiculously overpriced, sometimes well over $20 for a single movie.
The television industry also has had a tough time embracing the Web. In fact, CW has to be the poster child for not getting the Web. CW’s premier show, Gossip Girl, was a huge hit on the Web. Such a big hit, that CW is hoping that by no longer offering it on the Web it will boost TV ratings.
I couldn’t make that up if I wanted to. You have a large, loyal following (most of which are young and tech savvy), but they aren’t following the medium you prefer, so you are going to risk alienating them in order to force them onto a legacy medium? That has to be one of the stupidest things I have ever heard.
In fact, looking back on things, the journalism industry might be the least backwards. We’ve got some great Web products in the journalism industry. Heck, we’ve even got some newspapers going online only.
Maybe our new goal should be to do the opposite of whatever the RIAA and MPAA do. That means giving our customers exactly what they want. That should always be our goal.