Following my last posting, I’ve just come across an article on the NASDAQ website where Time Warner’s Chief Executive, Jeff Bewkes, talks about the ongoing, and often pessimistic discourse coming from traditional publishing houses who have, for several years now, been hit by slowing revenues from traditional media sources as consumers have moved online.
Unlike a lot of the rhetoric, Bewkes, sees a more optimistic future for publishing seeing within his own organisation consumer usage of Time Warner’s television programming, films and even magazines increasing thanks to the Internet.
“Big brands help consumers sort through the clutter” online, said Bewkes. ” Digital distribution is fueling this continued growth in the use of media products.”
On the issue that seems to give rise to near hysteria amongst a majority of media moguls – online piracy – Bewkes notes that it has done less damage to Time Warner’s TV and film products than it did to the music because the industry has rolled out a variety of business models that allow consumers to digest them legally without sacrificing profitability.
The struggle to find the appropriate ‘new’ business model and then have consumers accept it seems to be at the heart of both problem and solution. It’s not an easy call when we are now dealing with such a significanlty altered relationship between supplier and consumer but, pushing the digital sceptics aside for a moment, solutions are out there waiting to be found and being found.
What Bewkes seems keen to point out is that once you do manage to find a suitable model the problem is either resolved or at least significantly reduced and the new ‘digital landscape’ starts to appear as a lot less of an unfriendly place to do business in.