Don’t get caught up in Third-screen thinking

Mobilenet Promises to Be the Next Big Medium     But Don’t Get Sidetracked Into Third-Screen Thinking     From AdAge Published: May 06, 2008 by Al Ries>>read more.     We are on the verge of witnessing the birth of a new mass-communications medium. It’s the second new mass medium to appear in the last two decades.     The internet arrived in the 1990s, joining the other four mass media: 1) The book 2) The periodical 3) Radio 4) TV. Each new mass medium has created enormous upheavals in society.     The book ignited the knowledge explosion.      The periodical furthered the growth of democracy.     Radio created a celebrity-oriented society.     TV homogenized the culture.      The internet, the latest and newest mass medium, continues to make waves. “We are not witnessing the beginning of the end of old media,” Advertising Age’s Bob Garfield wrote recently. “We are witnessing the middle of the end of old media.”     “Both print and broadcast — burdened with unwieldy, archaic and crushingly expensive means of distribution — are experiencing the disintegration of the audience critical mass they require to operate profitably,” Mr. Garfield continued. “Moreover, they are losing that audience to the infinitely fragmented digital media, which have near-zero distribution costs and are overwhelmingly free to the user.”     Fasten your seat belts. On the horizon, there’s another profound shift in media, consumer behavior and technology coming. In the near future we are likely to welcome the arrival of a sixth mass-communications medium.     And what is this earth-shaking new medium? It’s the Mobilenet.     The what? Surely you are joking, Al. The Mobilenet is just a subset of the internet. Just another way of going online. Just another way of surfing the net without using a computer. That’s why mobile devices are commonly called the “third screen.”      Third-screen thinking is going to cause you and your company to miss the boat. Which big brands were created by moving content from one medium to another? Very, very few.      Moving The Wall Street Journal online didn’t save Dow Jones from the clutches of Rupert Murdoch for just $5 billion.      Moving ESPN onto cellphones didn’t take it to the big leagues.     So far, moving TV shows to the internet hasn’t created as much value as one internet site, YouTube.com. Less than 20 months after its launch, YouTube was bought by Google for $1.65 billion.

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