What it will take for Traditional players to succeed in The NEW NEW Media world

Published 5th February

Key for Traditional media owners to succeed in THE NEW NEW Media world is to determine their unique strenghts and essential characteristics and then focus.

binaural-beat-digital-drug by digitalbob8.If the relevant organisations can understand their unique strengths and the essential characteristics to their offer then there is the possibility of mapping a sustainable future. Digital has changed the landscape for good; time is fast ticking away for the traditional media owners to seriously get on board. (Post: The changing face of media).

Take newspaper publishers. For a long time, newspapers have not been only about “news”; nor have they been only on paper. They have been about selection and quality content; they have signposted other sources of information.

For newspapers, there are certain areas where each has strengths. Focus needs to be brought firmly back to these strengths, other areas stimulating wider engagement, discovery or back-fill.

The new digital technologies can and should empower individual journalists, helping redefine what a journalist is and what skills they need – and which consumers can support in the role. (Post: Changing shape of content). Responsibility for value needs to pass to the writer, as the new sales (or preferred ‘engagement’) agents they need to be tasked to deliver the returns.

Different models can and will co-exist, paywalls potentially one of them. The key will be to deliver content that has a perceived value, achieves distribution and engagement. Then the revenue can flow.

Take directory publishers. For a long time directories have not just been about “business listings”, nor have they been only on paper. They have been about comprehensive and quality local content; they have provided guidance on selecting the purchase.

For directory publishers, there are certain areas where they have strengths. Again focus needs to be brought firmly back to these strengths, other elements and features supporting the purchase decision, consumer action or discovery and engagement.

Different models can and will co-exist. The key will be to deliver a tangible value to the businesses or organisation spending money, to enhance their potential to be discovered, increase sales or support consumer interaction.

The challenges facing both are not dissimilar.

To succeed, traditional media owners need to rethink radically not only their business models, but also how they manage their businesses; they need to overhaul outdated organisational structures; they need to consider how they relate to all their employees, to third-party providers of content and services, and to individuals with whom they may have no contractual arrangement whatsoever.

Most crucially, they need to rethink how they relate to their communities of readers, subscribers, and users, when they know next to nothing about members of their digital audience. They need to identify their most loyal users and then work harder to meet their individual needs.

First instance, they need to embrace THE NEW NEW Media world – many still have not. They need to get people involved that understand the new world and importantly what it is going to take to transform their organisations. The Telegraph Media Group (TMG) is one of the traditional players to publically recognise that a radical shift is required.

Under the guidance of editor-in-chief Will Lewis, TMG are transfering the digital parts of the old organisition into a new entrepreneurial digital venture – dubbed the Euston Project –  in order to “capitalise on cutting edge ideas” and “drive new revenue streams”. Their target clearly stated as a move to turn TMG, or a significant chunk of it, from a media company into a digital company. For many an approach of isolating ‘digital’ is what is really going to be required to potentially succeed – others should follow this lead.

One thing that is for sure for traditional media owners to succeed, it is going to be a tough and long journey – but they need to get moving.

 At Indigo102 we can support in helping develop digital strategy and in particular define how mobile can play a valuable part, and then helping to deliver – we demonstrate the ways you can get better results without necessarily investing more.

(Image: binaural-beat-digital-drug by digitalbob8 from flickr.com) 

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