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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Newspapers, Innovation & Future Prosperity

With Newspaper circulation continues decline, forcing tough decisions.The newspaper industry, already suffering from circulation problems . Around the world, newspapers face the prospect of an accelerated drop in circulation. The slide is fueling an urgent industry discussion about whether the trend can be halted in a digital age and is forcing newspaper executives to rethink their traditional strategies.
While the wave of disruptive innovation may be unseating the supremacy of the big three U.S. auto manufacturers, downtown department stores, video rental stores, minicomputer manufacturers etc.. Clayton Christensen’s research shows that the old-school newspaper companies can definitely survive. Driven by shifting customer behaviors, the media landscape is changing at an unprecedented pace. Fundamental changes are reshaping the media environment and are sending waves of disruption throughout the industry. Based on demonstration projects done in the last several years, at a handful of U.S. newspaper companies, the team reports that there are mind-sets shift and managers get excited as they see the massive growth potential that still exists for the industry.
Paradoxically, newspaper companies have positive cash flows and the core content produced by newspapers is the basis for many of the industry's disruptors. Without newspaper content, there isn’t much news for television to report, bloggers would have less to blog about, and Yahoo! News and Google News would be blank pages. Furthermore, newspapers have strong brands and highly skilled employees. Innovative means to use their core assets and brand image may be the key for their survival – the shift is in beginning to realize ways and means to integrate the newspaper in the lives of the consumers could be the key therein. Some suggestions include the likes of niche publications and special events, paid search, consumer direct, targeted advertising and lead generation.
The future of newspapers is to change from a news organization into a news community. Readers would like to do a lot more with news. They would like to see the different angles of a story. They would like to understand it. They would like to know what it means for them. They would like to know how to deal with the consequences. In the digital world, aggregation, personalisation, adaptability and deep degrees of contextualisation along with pervasive availability shall characterise content distribution of tomorrow - news shall be an instance of this. And readers would would like to know what others think. In other words, the news is the beginning of a process, it's not the end.

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