I've been working on a post on this very topic, but Terry Heaton just did a great job more concisely in a post called Zucker and Chernin: In over their heads?. As we broadcasters try to adapt to the audio-and-video-over-IP disruption, what makes us think that we understand non-customers? Over two years of intense work on this, I've come to believe that they are our most compelling reason for building on-demand services -- yet the impulse to roll-your-own is powerful within the industry, both the commercial side where NBC and Fox have just announced a partnership, and on the public media side where I work. It's particularly important as we struggle with the "who should do this?" question.
Terry provides two quotes from the disruption master:
... I’m also hearing the words of business disruption guru Clayton Christensen in my ears.
(I)f you’re looking to start a new-growth business, very often, the most important customers to understand, are non-customers. Because if you figure out why it is they’re not customers, and then bring an innovation that allows them now to become customers, that’s what growth comes from.
On the upside, one of Christensen’s core recommendations is at play here, because the joint venture announced yesterday is the creation of a new business.
A company can survive a disruptive attack and remain as the leader, but evidence is overwhelming that the only way to do that is if the leader in the industry that’s being disrupted sets up a separate organization. The separate entity then needs the freedom to create a business model that is tuned to that new disruptive business and gives it a charter to kill the parent.
Does this new enterprise have that kind of authority — from the top? In the answer to that question lies the future of the project, and frankly, I’m not holding my breath. ...
Link: Terry Heaton's PoMo Blog.
Terry's post was inspired by Michael Arrington's analysis, Dear Clown Co., Name This Thing Fast Before It's Too Late. Michael writes:
... There are really big challenges ahead for this company. First, the fact that only two networks joined is a really bad sign. Viacom at least should have been willing to join. Second, this group has little experience in creating web applications, and no experience building the kind of stuff, like YouTube, that users get seriously passionate about. Third, the track record of major media companies working together to deal with this kind of viral attack on their business is not good. As Valleywag pointed out today, EMI, BMG, and Sony Music banded together in 1999 to deal with the Napster situation and created Musicnet, which was a dismal failure and was named by PC World as one of the worst tech products of all time. ...
Also see Steven Zeitchik, Michael Learmonth and Ben Fritz's, NBC, News team on video site. Site: Variety.
And Staci Kramer's, NBC-News Corp.: More Like The Anti-YouTube than YouTube Killer. Link: paidContent.org.