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Sunday, 01 July 2007


John Proffitt

So I looked through the presentation and found a couple of things I think the author missed. And I think they're key misses.

First, there's no mention (at least not in the slides -- perhaps the live presentation is different) of ADAPTATION on the part of the audience. Audience members have different perceptions and expectations of various forms of media depending on their age, economic status and personal experience. Someone that has read newspapers for 30 years and then is introduced to the web has a totally different outlook from someone that went online in grade school and never used a newspaper except as an interesting anachronistic research device. Or, for example, take all the TV naysayers that say the video quality online is so horrible that no one would want to watch it. The writer appears to approach the multimedia landscape with a "boomer's" eye, ignoring the possibility that someone born today won't give a rip about print in 20 years and will accept varying levels of video quality (consider the gamer that will watch bad video on YouTube but will shell out thousands for a PlayStation 3 and a 50-inch 1080p LCD TV -- expectations are fluid and relative). I think this alone changes the calculations quite a bit. Does it spell the doom of print or TV or any other medium? No. But does it change the dynamics? Yeah, I think so.

Second, and perhaps more importantly, there's a deliberate ignorance of the rapid march in technologies and platforms over time. One of the knocks on IPTV (on page 13) is that there's no set top box (STB). But there's no footnote or other item saying, "...but there will be." Apple TV anyone? TiVo? Hello? Is this thing on? While radio has gone relatively unchallenged for nearly 100 years, the challengers are starting to appear, and they are approaching from multiple vectors. TV was (and is) the 800-pound gorilla. But as me (in my 30's) how much TV I watch today vs. 10 years ago. And what about the 20-year olds?

I think most of the presentation is spot on with the message that traditional media are dominant today and will remain dominant for many years to come. We're really talking about habits here -- habits formed across generations. Habits don't change rapidly. But they do change.

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