The future of the web is TV?

Dirk Singer, head of the London PR shop Cow, believes attention to advertising across the board — not just newspaper readership — is what is declining, and as consumers shift media habits online ironically television networks may come out the winner. Dirk writes:

So the elephant in the room is that if we are talking about the age of news brands, we are not just talking about newspapers. It’s easy enough for the rest of us to migrate to the online services of TV news networks (and A List blogs which are no longer blogs in the 2004 sense) – TV news channels (mostly) not being in the business of charging to watch content anyway. Indeed, they’d probably welcome the opportunity to get a bigger slice of the online pie.

Good point. Newspapers and blogs and television newscasts are all starting to look the same. Blogger Robert Scoble’s posts are filled with video. The New York Times’ site has a news video section. is filled with articles and columns. If it’s all the same, what matters next is who can fund the content.

When your product is free, you need money from somewhere else

TV remains the cash king. The average U.S. consumer watches 5 hours and 9 minutes of live TV a day, taking in just over 1 hour of paid sponsorships. This in turn gives broadcast and cable TV about $75 billion in advertising in the U.S. — a lot of money to cross subsidize online free content. The irony of our intellectual user-generated-content age is that passive couch potatoes may fund the revolution.

Photo: Rock Creek

One thought on “The future of the web is TV?

  1. Indeed and you have to ask the question, if Rupert Murdoch is so keen to start charging for the online editions of his newspapers, what about the online content that’s on Fox (or Sky in the UK)?

    If the type of content that’s on there is increasingly interchangeable, then logically how can you put a toll booth in front of one and not the other?

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