Ok, I am going to preference this article with a couple facts. Fact one: I am not an economist. Fact two: I am not a professional publisher. Fact three: I am not an Old Media generator. Fact four: I am not a marketing guy. Fact five: I am not a legal expert. With this out of the way, I just wanted to write an article on some notions I have been having about this whole New Media vs. Old Media battle we have been waging, with a particular look at content distribution, pricing models and some inconsistencies in arguments I have been hearing regarding both. I don’t think anything I will write here is particularly new to the scene (though it may be new to my readers), but hey, I am a blogger, and we blog even after the metaphorical horse has been long dead (and yes, this is a big stick in my hand).
Getting Over The Definitions
First things first, let me clarify my namespaces so we all know what I am talking about here. When we talk about Old Media and New Media, we are primarily referring to everything that is not the Internet, and then everything that is the Internet. What this means is that things such as paper books, newspapers, CD’s and all of those other forms of analog distribution are considered Old Media. New Media on the other hand is information that is digitized and for the most part, digitally distributed. Note, the difference between Old and New Media, as far as I am concerned, is not so much what is being said or how it is being said, but rather, how it reaches the end user, the distribution infrastructure per se.
Of course, this difference in the infrastructure of distribution has been a mutation with interesting consequences. What has evolved from this mutation has been an increased level of interaction from consumers. No longer is content being consumed in private or small groups, and no longer is it traveling from person to person at the speed of walking or cycling or driving or in some cases planes and ships. Instead, content is being spread at the speed of light, instigated by word of mouth. Small group discussions on content are occurring at scales which are orders of magnitude larger than ever before. And on top of all this, content creation and duplication is also now in the hands of the masses, and is no longer limited to the few who could afford to buy into the old model of distribution infrastructure (printing presses are not cheap by the way). This is New Media
Through all of this, the content has stayed the same however. We still enjoy the written word as much as we have in the past hundreds (or thousands) of years. We still enjoy aural stimulation as well as visual stimulation. It is important to differentiate that though the technology and distribution methods have changed, the actual content has changed very little: humans are still getting their kicks today from the same things as thousands of years ago.