01 February 2009

New media — Old media

Most newspapers scoffed at bloggers when they first surfaced. Now they're clamouring for 'reader generated content'. And it might be too late, because we learn that advertising revenue has switched away from the dead tree press to online sources. Some newspapers might end up as a web presence only - and we know that the most web-savvy of the UK press, The Guardian props up its loss-making activities with a huge subsidy from Autotrader. Highstreet bookshops are closing at a rate which some people find alarming - yet Amazon are clocking up record sales. And I know from my own affiliate sales that they allow competitors to sell books at one penny a shot as loss leaders. Music has been hit in a similar way, with Virgin and other CD stores closing as people switch to buying directly on line. That's the bad news. The good side for punters is that prices are being driven down. I called in my local Fopp outlet yesterday and came away with armsful of goodies. Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis, Sara Vaughn, and Weather Report - all in well produced box sets at the equivalent of two quid per CD. This must surely be the owners of these rights milking the last throes of a dying medium?

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