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Jun 6, 2008

Ballmer kills print


  • IP is interactive. Broadcast and print are not. Further, print suffers 60% and rising COGS. Print is dead, but not because of interactivity.
  • 10 years? Try 2 to 4. It's not subscriber preference that defines the life of print. The shrinking gross margins limit the ability of print to survive.
  • More content, if we can solve the revenue problem for the Long Tail of reporters. 
  • Can't distinguish advertising from content. Why would this change from current TV sponsorships, in-movie ads, magazine infomercials, and other formats?

Ballmer kills print

In an interview with the Washington Post, Steve Ballmer goes a bit farther than even I would go killing print. But that’s the problem; that’s the way print people look at it. What he’s really saying is that delivery over IP will have so much greater advantage over delivery via one-way media. Why? Interaction. He’s right.

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.

Yeah. If it’s 14 or if it’s 8, it’s immaterial to my fundamental point. . . . If we want TV to be more interactive, you’ll deliver it over an IP network. I mean, it’s sort of funny today. My son will stay up all night basically playing Xbox Live with friends that are in various parts of the world, and yet I can’t sit there in front of the TV and have the same kind of a social interaction around my favorite basketball game or golf match. It’s just because one of these things is delivered over an IP network and the other is not. . . .

Also in the world of 10 years from now, there are going to be far more producers of content than exist today. We’ve already started to see that certainly in the online world, but we’ve just scratched the surface. . . . I always take my favorite case: I grew up in Detroit. I went to a place called Detroit Country Day School. They’ve got a great basketball team. Why can’t I sit in front of my television and watch the Country Day basketball game when I know darn well it’s being video-recorded at all times? It’s there. It’s just not easy to navigate to.

In this video, he also talks about the future of advertising. Ballmer argues that it will be hard to distinguish between communication and entertainment and that advertising, commerce, and content will all blend.

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