Is This the End of Mass Market Media?

Posted: February 27, 2009 in Powerful Ideas
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Are we witnessing the end of mass market media? Everywhere we look, daily newspapers are suffering from declining add revenues and readers defecting to online news sources. The same is happening in TV, except the defections are to specialty channels and other entertainment sources. Global and CTV have closed stations in secondary markets. The San Francisco Chronicle is in deep trouble, as is Le Monde in France. Here in Montreal, Quebecor has locked out its journalists at Journal de Montreal in order to get concessions on what is, admittedly, a very cushy work contract.

The key factors driving this change appear to be the ability to tailor feeds to one’s tastes and to interact with the originators of content, as well as other fans.
Some companies appear to be better positioned than others to negotiate this sea change. Quebecor, the owner of the Journal de Montreal, is also the owner of Videotron, the biggest cable and entertainment group in Quebec. It is a product of the wave of media convergence in the nineties. However, while other groups, such as Bell Globemedia, have faltered, Quebecor managed to make it a success.
On the other hand, I don’t think anybody at the time thought convergence would mean the end of traditional media. Websites were originally adjuncts to traditional media channels. Now it appears that it is the traditional channels that have become the adjunct to the “always on” universe of the internet.

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