So, Haven’t Editors Always Been Cannibals?

IMedia conference was last week, and according to Mark Naples of Online Spin, it was a real whinefest – not that I blame them – because the parent print companies believe that their web properties are “cannibalizing” subscribers and robbing them of revenue. As Mark notes “Some of these traditional publishing companies have even been withholding resources from their online counterparts due to this perception, which truly fascinates me”. He’s not alone.

Intercorporate squabbling has always been a part of big congomerates, and media companies are often made up of lots of little print, media, and radio properties who fiercely compete for subscribers. So this isn’t really anything new.

But according to the Wall Street Journal a month back, major advertisers have accelerated their move from print and broadcast TV to online and cable TV advertising, and this is causing real pain. “These sites provide compelling, exclusive content. Some require a subscription. Most provide streaming video. None exploits their users with pop-ups, pop-unders, or other lesser tactics… The problem isn’t that www.yourlocalnewspaper.com is robbing your local newspaper of readers. The problem is that too many people running these traditional media outlets fail to see the opportunity presented by this change, and how the Web is leading that evolution.”

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