Was 2011 the year of the great paywall? Not exactly

Some newspaper websites made a little ground with their paywall strategies over the past year. But the media industry should be very careful about over-interpreting the successes of a handful over the struggles of the multitude.

How Glenn Beck wants to disrupt cable

Glenn Beck is back: The controversial TV pundit is launching his own online TV network this week, promising to relaunch his daily TV show in September on the Internet. However, GBTV won’t be free: Subscribers will have to pay between $5 and $10 per month.

New Media Demands a New Kind of Media Company

AUERBACH-JoshuaThe media like nothing more than to cover the media. For that reason, there has been near-endless coverage of the struggles of “old media” companies trying to succeed online. Pundits debate the possible return of “pay walls” to the web, the prospects for “freemium” products that coax some subscription revenue from a larger pool of non-paying users, and the like. All of these are appropriate and necessary discussions of media products and business models. But it’s time to start talking more about the media companies themselves — not what products they should offer or how much they should charge, but how they should be organized and managed.
The barriers to entry in media have fallen. That means successful media companies will start many more ventures than they have in the past. New opportunities arise all the time, and the capital requirements are typically minimal. Fortunately, the barriers to exit have fallen, too. Without sound stages, broadcasting facilities, or printing presses, a new media company can shut its doors with minimal asset losses. The diversified media company of the future will enter (through startup and acquisition) and exit (through shutdown or sale) businesses very rapidly. The line between an operating company and an investment vehicle blurs, but shareholders can benefit despite, or because, of this rapidity of business creation and destruction. Read More about New Media Demands a New Kind of Media Company