Stubborn companies are an endangered species

What does the medialicensing industry have in common with newspapers? Besides a declining and changing clientbase it may be a resistance to embrace many of the drastic changes that are enveloping its buyers.

Are newspaper circulations simply declining because of the demography of its readers? The author of the “Burn the boats” article we highlighted this week observes how a young generation finds its news in very different ways. We’ve read somewhere how you now only find an older generation reading newspapers in public transport while others are watching movies, playing games, reading the news on their smart-phones. The author argues that, while revenues of newspapers are still high, their most lucrative audiences have already moved to the web.

” They get their news from all over the place: newspaper sites, TV news sites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook. More and more, the news is coming to them through their friends and the various streams they consume. The old days of cross-subsidizing political news with ads from the Travel and Auto sections are over.”

More and more commentators say it’s time to stop waiting and start joining. The author focusses on media companies saying:

“The longer media companies wait, the bigger disadvantage they will have when they cross over to the other side and find a whole new host of competitors who never had any print legacy businesses to protect. Those competitors right now are blogs and online news hubs who are still furry little rodents in the underbrush, but who won’t stay little forever.”

The same goes for companies that license media content. Many have not reached out to the new type of buyers out there.  These buyers have always worked online, work seamlessly with a large number of websites and software, are fully immersed in social networks and multitask their way through all of these media…fast. Once media licensing companies do cross over they will find similar issues to the ones faced by the music industry first, and now the print industry. Other companies will already have a presence and most likely they will be industry ‘outsiders’. Whether it’s free photography, file sharing, intuitive websites and new business-models, somewhere, someone will be working on a new approach that will thrive long before some companies make the jump.

This is the challenge. As long as there is still some money to be made and some lifestyle perks to sacrifice complacency may be too tempting.

Picture: Stock Exchange | Boats | LayHwa-Chew

Marco | Editor

Editor at large and founder of a bunch of stockphoto businesses

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