Packaged Goods Media vs. Conversational Media, Part One

Federated Media’s John Batelle has begun a multi-part post on Searchblog on how traditional media companies have come to terms with their maturing, ever-more-profitable interactive business units. The telegraphic summary; dump the seasoned interactive “cowboys” that started these interactive businesses and parachute in the serious revenue posse, senior executives that can turn these businesses around so that they can realize their full revenue potential! They’ve gone from “lab” to just another unit with an aggressive scorecard. No surprise there. Ah, but Batelle’s point is that interactive is not like any other traditional media business, it’s Packaged Goods Media (old media) vs. Conversational Media (interactive). The post is peppered with good insight and real world examples, it’s worth the read. However, the crux is that it is about economics (ad revenue) vs. relevance (interactivity/user content). How much interactivity are these media conglomerates willing to let through the filters, and would they do it all if it’s “at the expense” of advertisers and advertising revenue. We now know that relevance has value with users/ consumers (Web 2.0), the question is, is there enough net margin at the rendez-vous for traditional media companies that potentially have a lot to lose vs. start-ups that have way less to lose…

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