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Bold Predictions: The End of Print Media

When the newstand becomes an antique…

Discussions around the demise of print continue to intensify. Just last week I posted some of my thoughts on this matter, motivated to do so by the confluence of increased speculation as to the future of printed media. Then, yesterday, BAM! Steve Ballmer of Microsoft, in an , speaks his mind on the issue when asked for his outlook on the future of media:

“In the next 10 years, the whole world of media, communications and advertising are going to be turned upside down — my opinion.

Here are the premises I have. Number one, there will be no media consumption left in 10 years that is not delivered over an IP network. There will be no newspapers, no magazines that are delivered in paper form. Everything gets delivered in an electronic form.”

Steve Ballmer of Microsoft

Video of the Ballmer interview:

I am not one to follow closely the predictions and strategies of Ballmer, or Microsoft, but this statement made my jaw drop. Fact: Microsoft is a force in the future of whatever media becomes. Fact: Microsoft devotes tremendous resources out of its tremendous resources to guide this future in a way that benefits Microsoft. Fact: Steve Ballmer is closer to this issue, in many ways, than the rest of us as he is leading Microsoft’s strategy with regards to media. Does his opinion have merit? Most definitely. He even points out that it might be eight years or it might be 15 years, the timing doesn’t really matter as the reality is that the result is inevitable.

Then, this morning via Twitter I come across a that approaches the issue from a slightly different angle, that the demise in print media is also being driven by huge changes happening in journalism. Newsrooms are shrinking, news media subscriptions are collapsing, and increasingly reporters are getting their information and tips from public web forums. That would make the big news media companies middle men for the news, with the end result being that the public gets this and prefers going direct to the source. Leaders at media institutions like the New York Times are in total confusion as to what is happening and what will happen next, and the New York Times has actually been a vanguard in pursuing the online media channel. Ten years ago the public needed the resources provided by the Newsweeks, NYT’s, and the myriad other special interest publications. The printed manifestation of this resource was the only interaction option. Following the change in that interaction, from the reliance on the printed piece to the irrefutable dominance of the online channel, is an exercise in realizing how traditional media outlets have been inept at surveying strategic risk and changing with the times.

One Response to “Bold Predictions: The End of Print Media”

  1. Says:

    [...] Ballmer, Microsoft’s award-winning CEO, recently predicted the end of print media: In the next 10 years, the whole world of media, communications and [...]

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