Friday, May 26, 2006

all the news that's fit

Via Steve Rubel: reported today that NBC News is now selling news stories in the iTunes Music Store.

Steve says that this is a sure sign that paid video and podcasts are next. I say it's a sure sign that the slow-to-change mass media companies are clutching at straws to hold onto some market share, as more and more people turn off the evening news in favour of other sources of information and entertainment.

I've hammered NBC before, and here I go again: Wake up! Your business is in advertising first and foremost, and you're on a very slippery slope when what is supposed to be your most objective content (the news) is suddenly being sold as product.

Sell ads, not news. Give the clips away with ad support, and this idea might have a future. If necessary, sell a hi-res version separately (via your own site) to the two people in any given story that will buy it from you; but otherwise concentrate on ideas to deliver value to your advertisers.

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe there really IS a market out there that will actually pay for news stories and NOT turn around and use them for commercial purposes, but my gut tells me this is an idea destined for failure.

NBC deserves an honorable mention for making an effort, but their last two attempts at taking a piece of the new-media pie are failures, imho.


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