Monday, July 13, 2009

The landscape is changing

Some big news is starting to boil up regarding the media and changes to how we engage with it. For starters, early reports are suggesting that legal downloading and sharing of music is beginning to take root and impact illegal filesharing and piracy. Second, magazine ad revenues are down significantly, threatening the livelihood of many popular magazines. Third, broadcast networks (like NBC, CBS, ABC) are taking a beating from cable channels this summer. Finally, the New York Times is considering charging for access to its website.

So, where do you think we are heading? How often do you use legal music downloading sites/applications like iTunes? Do you think the New York Times' strategy of charging for content a valid (and profitable) method of distribution for the newspaper industry? And why are the broadcast stations taking a beating from cable?

16 comments:

marjorie said...

Basically, everything seems to be based on making profits, but with the economy being down,it is difficult for things to continue to prosper. People are beginning to spend their money and time on more important things. I think everything is leading to destruction; therefore, everything is going to be down eventually.

I love listening to music in my vehicle, at home, and possibly on my job so I often search for new music to download. I usually download music from imesh.com whenever I hear a new song that I like. I do not think the newspaper industry will profit much with the new distribution method. Most people who buy newspapers are ederly people who may not have internet access or who may not be able to operate a computer well. Broadcast stations may be taking a beating during the summer since people are busy during the summer or may be interested in other things.

Christina said...

I do believe that virtual media is slowly taking precedence over physical media like newspapers and magazines. This is because virtual media is more quickly accessible and easier to store, no trash to take out or magazines to recycle. The younger generations that are growing up in this digital age are becoming accustomed to a paperless world and it will only grow especially with the green movement and saving trees.

I personally have only downloaded songs onto my daughters ipod that she received from her NiNi. She was given so many free downloads and that is all I downloaded. The rest I converted my cd's into mp3's and loaded them for her. My family tries to support local business, so I try to buy my music from the local music store and then download it to my computer for conversion for other devices.

I do believe that the NYT's strategy is valid. I have been a subscriber to many publications such as Scientific American that require a subscription for online access to much of their website. It is only fair if they must promise an advertiser so many views and for them to stay in business.
Broadcast networks are more than likely not keeping up with the quickly changing times. Newer shows are coming out all of the time and cable networks are quickly putting them out there hoping for a following. Broadcast networks are trying to keep there same following and not taking a leap into finding new viewers.

Lanna Nations said...

I think as far as newspapers, music, and even possibly magazines will eventually be only on the web. I think this will go in the direction of the New York Times and have access fees to be able to view the sites. I think as far as music is concerned, I listen to alot of music and I do purchase it legally. I think you are taking away from the artists when you don't. That is what they do for a living and it's not right to access their work for free. I think the media tried to emphasize the case that happened a year or two ago when a Minnesota woman was charged with file sharing. I think they made an example out of this woman by saying that this is an illegal activity and you will be prosecuted if you are caught. I work at a university and I know that our IT people go to the dorms when they have evidence of file sharing, but they never take it any further than just deleting the files.
I definitely think that the New York Times is valid in it's charging for content, and I think we will see this more. As for the broadcast stations, I think that people are more active during the summer months with kids being out of school and warmer weather. Therefore, we are more likely to be engaged in other activities and not watching as much tv. I think this is the reason that they are taking a beating right now. I'm sure that will pick up when fall rolls around.

Cherry said...

The economy is not in great shape and that is no secret. Companies are going to do all they can to stay afloat. If the New York Times notices that people are logging on more than they're buying, of couse they're going to change their profit strategy.

I once was avid downloader and cd burner, but that was years ago. Last year I gave Rhapsody a try and learned that even if you are a member and pay to download,you still can't burn certain songs onto a disk. I canceled my membership. With the convictions of a few piraters, others my feel the need to legalize their downloading. Limewire is a site that does not require payment and you can download whatever you want as long as you agree not to share files. Like Rhapsody, you won't be able to burn certain songs onto a disk even if you download it. I revisited using Limewire a few months ago and all I download are old songs from the 70s 80s & 90s. They are the only ones worth listening to!

Broadcast stations don't stand a chance against cable; and soon cable will be taking a beating from satellite. When I moved from an apt to a house, I kept cable for maybe a few months then I switched to DirecTV. That was back in 2001. I'm not a huge t.v. fan but cable was lacking a lot! A couple of years ago I switched to Dish because they offered local stations and Direct didn't. NBC,ABC & CBS will continue to have an audience as long as certain watchable series continue to air; but they are no match for cable or satellite, because those services can offer grittier shows and broadcast stations have the FCC to answer to.

Abbi said...

I personally do not use any type of application to download music. I still buy a CD when I want a new song. However, I think that I am in the vast minority. Even my mother has an iPhone and is downloading music from iTunes to listen to on her phone. I think that eventually it will be very difficult to get a CD in hand because it is easier and I assume much cheaper for an artist to make digital formats of their music.

As for the New York Times strategy, I think the only way they will prosper by charging for content is if the rest of that media begins charging as well. I am sure there are some people that are loyal to the New York Times and will continue to read even if they are required to pay, but for those less loyal readers they will go somewhere else for their information.

As for the broadcast stations taking a hit, I am not exactly sure what would cause that. Like Marjorie said it could be that everyone is enjoying other available sources of entertainment during the summer time.

MR said...

I really don't know where we are heading and that is a very scary feeling. Knowing how the economy is now days I could understand if some of the things were are used to being free start having a charge. However, I think it is point less. If the New York Times starts charging then poeple will just stop using. It is not like people cannot find most of the same information for free.
I do use iTunes a little, but since they charge I don't understand why they are having problems. I mean yes, everyone is struggling now but rasing the prices on everything may not be the best way to boost the economy. But that's just what I am thinking. Cable is beating out broadcast because their are better shows. This is a very awkward time in our economy and I think that we should all just ride it out.
-MReno

sharon howard said...

Computer has made it easier to access many things such as music to download, read a newspaper or a magazine online from different cities, states, and even other countries, and watch a television show or movie online. Computer is also now cheaper and most household can now afford it. If someone cannot afford a computer, he or she can use one at their local library or school.
I, like many, am guilty of downloading music online. I love the freedom of buying certain songs, not buying a whole album. I don’t do it often maybe about twice a year. I love to keep up with the latest current events, my soaps, and television show online. I enjoyed the freedom of not leaving my house to get a newspaper or magazine, not having to wait for rerun of my shows, and freedom of going to bed early when I missed the new at five in the evening. This habit is what many people have due to computer.
Many newspapers and magazines are losing business because of the internet on the computer. That is why New York Times is charging for access of its website. I think it is fair as long as that it doesn’t affect the newspaper subscription rates prices and internet rate is not too high. Newspapers and magazines must be able to keep up with the technology of the computer and keep up with the consumer s’ wants in order to keep them interested. That why cable stations, for example, are doing better than broadcast stations. Cable stations knows what the consumers want to see and not afraid to try new things to get a consumers’ attentions. This can worked for newspapers and magazines.

tFisher said...

It is logical that magazine ads are down for certain industries, such as the vehicle and finance corporations. With the news stations reporting daily that much of these corporate giants are going into bankruptcy, it would only prove to be money that could have been applied to the debt they want the taxpayers to lend. They state that the ads related to fitness and home livings are doing well, hopefully these ads can hold up these magazines until the economy gets better for the other industries to come back to the advertising campaign. Is it really that these ads are terribly down, or like our housing market, they were just exceptionally high prior to the economy drop and now seem rock bottom?
NBC, CBS, and ABC are filling their primetime slots with more reality type shows than ever. This is the most saturated that television has been with reality shows and that type of show is not for every viewer. Many viewers, me included, may be tuning into other cable channels for entertainment due to not being a reality show follower. The reality hike takes a few topic ideas and has a contest on how many times they can recreate that topic. Is it a nanny show, a house remodeling show, a weight issue, a competition of how strong someone is (whether on an island, in a house, or racing across the country), or does the person have a talent? Also during summer months the weather is nice, it gets darker outside later, and people are busier outdoors and away from home more than usual.

The New York Times and other newspaper industries will most likely turn to charging for access to offset the money they are losing from newspaper sales. I do not tune into these websites, therefore I would not be effected unless they stopped broadcasting the news on local and CNN and Fox Networks. I do enjoy looking at the small local papers that are delivered for free at this time to our mailbox. We just started using iTunes for our new iPod just last week. With having a broad range of music taste, this music habit can add up fast. We have downloaded a few personal music cds, however know of many co-workers and family members that use mp3 files and borrow cds to download to their mp3 player. I can see that due to people sharing, the music industry is losing a lot of potential money.
~Terry Fisher

mhayes said...

Illegal filesharing and piracy may not be as common today as it was but it will continue. I feel a lot of people were scared into doing things the legal way but there are some who will go to whatever extreme to get something for free. I don't download music. I prefer to just buy it in a store. I think in a few years you probably won't be able to download anything illegally. All those sites will be shut down.
In regards to the New York times, I feel that charging for content is valid but not profitable. They are right in believing that if people want to access their website they should pay. But I think a lot of people who do access the site will stop. I know a lot of the sites that I visit I do it because I have a little free time and I am bored. I could do without these sites but I choose not to. If I had to pay for them I would not visit them.
I can't really say why the broadcast stations are taking beatings this summer. It may be because there is more on cable that people want to see.

Meryl said...

I think that the media is taking steps to strickly become electronic. I personally download music, keep up with the news, and even watch some tv via the internet. With our society becoming so reliant on the internet for things such as tv, music, news, etc. it seems that eventually this will be all that is available.

I think that it is fine for the NY Times to want to charge for access to their website. People pay for subscriptions for the hard copy of their paper, so what would be the harm in doing the same for its electronic print? I do not think that we will see our society go to strickly electronic when it comes to things like the news and music. Papers will always be sold along with cds and what not. I just think that the market for such will be very slim in the next few years.

Jon Goldman said...

Personally, I use legal music downloading applications any time I buy music. Now I'm not the type to buy every new cd that comes out, but I do use iTunes every time I buy music. Its just easier to deal with. I only listen to music on my iPod in my car or through head phones, so its easier to buy it straight from there and put it right on my iPod.

Regarding the New York Times, I think this is where newspapers are going to have to go to survive. Eventually newspaper's will lose so many of their subscriptions to online news that they will have to go out of business unless they adapt. Selling online news is the next thing for them. If they don't go to this new type of media, they will surely die out.

Broadcast stations can't survive against cable. There are too many choices with cable that broadcast stations can't keep up. With networks like The Travel Channel and Comedy Central that specialize in one form of entertainment, the competition is tough. Broadcast stations need to reinvent themselves to stand up against these specialized networks.

allison said...

We are heading to an all new form of getting information. Soon, we will not have an alternative to get a newspaper : we will have to resort to going to a website and paying for the information we are looking to retrieve.
I have downloaded music many times from the internet and consequently have not bought any new CD'S in a while. It hurts the artist monitarily but at the same timewe are in a recession and do not have the funs to buy $20 CD's when we wnat to hear our favorite artist. Its a catch 22 its them or me and I choose me everytime. I hate that it is like that and I wish the artist could get all the money they deserve for their work but we all do not have the moniesto support our listening habits and will find a way to fullfill them if we are able.
The New york TImes has the right to charge if they want, I think that they will llose customers and will not see the real gain in doing so. People do not have the money to do what we used to and these huge companies that recieve all the tax breaks need to pass those breaks on down to us sometime.
Broadcast stations have new shows and better quality television than that of cable. People are looking for new and different ways to do things, even watching tv, to enhance there lives now that we cant all go out and watch movies ride around and spend the money we used to.

cstone042 said...

To be totally honest I have never paid to download anything off the internet. I do not see the point if some wants to share a file they have purchased what’s wrong with that. I need Microsoft office and power point to be successful in college, and I do not make enough money to pay a hundred dollars for a program that I can get for free. There are a lot of programs out there like Abi word that are free to download, but none of my professors will allow me to turn in assignments in that format. So if it comes down to me failing out of college or illegally downloading software. I am going to break the law.
I do not think the New York Times Strategy of charging for content is a valid way of reporting the news. Why would I pay for something that I can get for free from CSPAN, blogs, or free over the air broadcasts? The New York Times just like any corporation should adapt to the changing market. Print journalism is dead and the New York Times is trying to hold on as long as they can. They should cut their losses and move on.
The broadcast stations are taking a beating from 24 hour cable news because cable news is more entertaining. As bad as the reporting is on cable news it is entertaining. I love to watch a Democratic strategists and a Republican straightest debate a political issue. Everyone knows exactly what their going to say and that they are just going to bash the other party no matter what the issue. The bottom line is that it’s entertaining and it might be better than comedy central.

cstone042 said...

To be totally honest I have never paid to download anything off the internet. I do not see the point if some wants to share a file they have purchased what’s wrong with that. I need Microsoft office and power point to be successful in college, and I do not make enough money to pay a hundred dollars for a program that I can get for free. There are a lot of programs out there like Abi word that are free to download, but none of my professors will allow me to turn in assignments in that format. So if it comes down to me failing out of college or illegally downloading software. I am going to break the law.
I do not think the New York Times Strategy of charging for content is a valid way of reporting the news. Why would I pay for something that I can get for free from CSPAN, blogs, or free over the air broadcasts? The New York Times just like any corporation should adapt to the changing market. Print journalism is dead and the New York Times is trying to hold on as long as they can. They should cut their losses and move on.
The broadcast stations are taking a beating from 24 hour cable news because cable news is more entertaining. As bad as the reporting is on cable news it is entertaining. I love to watch a Democratic strategists and a Republican straightest debate a political issue. Everyone knows exactly what their going to say and that they are just going to bash the other party no matter what the issue. The bottom line is that it’s entertaining and it might be better than comedy central.

James said...

I have used a file sharing site before but I really wasn't that found of it. I do however get the majority of my music from a guy who shares files and makes cds on a regular basis. I remember the days before filesharing and those were expensive days. I'm all for getting things at a good cost and the $5 I pay for a cd is a good cost.

I'm not surprised about the New York Times or anyone other paper that goes to the internet and begins to charge. It's the only way to survrive from now on. People want it now and the internet gives them up to the minute knowlege about things that matter to them. If you can get the public to pay for it, more power too you. It's the way of the future.

steve said...

In general it appears that this country is headed downhill, so it is not surprising that many of the traditionally stronger media are as well.

It is cheaper to read stories and access information online so people are canceling their magazine subscriptions. The internet format is easier to distribute and in today's fast-paced culture much more easily accessible.

The New York Times is most likely taking a beating on these ad revenues, because there are so many on line readers. I know of several newspapers which charge online subscription fees, and I choose not to read them. I think you'd really have to like a particular columnist or feature to buy access, especially if just seeking headlines which are freely accessible in about 3 billion places on the net.

On the music front, I don't really buy much music these days, but I also don't pirate. I used to do some downloading illegally but after seeing the lawsuits it is just not worth it. I pay for a Sirius radio subscription and mainly listen to that in the car and Pandora at home.

-Steve Caldwell