Here's a common refrain you might hear from people working in Mainstream Media:
MSM runs our most popular websites
I'm not sure who the "our" is Simon (WW or AUST?), but according to Alexa, the Top Ten websites certainly don't come from MSM.
In fact, the only site in the Top Ten that has any affiliation with MSM afaik is MySpace, which was recently acquired by the very savvy folks at News Ltd. I'd call that a win for NM and anyone who has spoken to anyone at News Ltd management lately, knows that they are VERY excited about this little acquisition.
The Alexa Top 20 includes only two MSM - BBC and CNN. NYT comes in at #25. Washington Post #76. FOX Sports #87.
So... a mere 5% of the Top 100 websites, leaving out MySpace, are from MSM.
Where does the "new media" rank? Well, leaving aside Yahoo, MSN and Google which obviously dominate, and can be considered "old new media", we have MySpace which comes in at #5, and Blogger.com at #10. The rest of the Top 100 is mostly made up of either NM sites or "dot com" and "web2.0" sites, with a few banks, etc.
So the lesson for today is - get the facts. NM is starting to dominate our attention. MSM is declining.
Yes... MSM might have the $$ and the reach to survive. Might. But in times like these, a lot of it is up for grabs. Go read "The Innovator's Dilemma" by Clayton Christensen.
Another common refrain I hear from MSM is this one that Simon also threw on the table:
I bet if you go back into the archives, fifty years ago people were predicting that TV would kill newspapers by taking away all their ad revenue.
Didn't happen, did it?
Simon's right, of course, in that TV didn't kill newspapers. Or radio. These new medium did, however, take a VERY large share of total advertising spend, which newspapers previously had much to themselves. Of course, the total pie has grown considerably in that time as well.
In the same way, online advertising this year is already bigger than radio advertising in several countries around the world, after little more than ten years.
There major difference I see between the TV v Newspapers debate and the NM v MSM debate is this: MSM has always existed in a controlled environment. Only a small number of companies ever existed which could own newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, etc in any geography. These numbers were kept low through government regulation, oligopolistic activities and through the pure cost structures of those businesses.
New media, however, faces none of those limitations. At least, they don't today. That's why we have 30 million blogs. That's why we have 30,000 podcasts. All of those new forms of entertainment and information are stealing away people's attention from "old media". Don't believe me? Go re-read the Alexa rankings. MSM has 5%. Five. Not fifty. Not fifteen. Five.
And we are just getting started.