“Elisabeth Murdoch touts social networking”

CEO says youths willing to pay for premium experiences
By Elizabeth Guider The Hollywood Reporter Jan 27, 2010,

LAS VEGAS — Emphasizing the need for the TV industry to put on its “hard hats” and rebuild the biz for a new era, Elisabeth Murdoch offered up a blueprint which put social networking at the heart of the solution for successful content.

Addressing participants at the annual NATPE confab in Vegas Wednesday morning, the Shine-Reveille CEO cautioned that broadcasters can’t afford any longer to ignore “the profound paradigm shift” which has overtaken the audience in the last decade. The biggest upheaval in media has less to do with the fall-off in advertising or the broken broadcast model as with how people are now actually consuming content of all kinds.

With some recent stats at her fingertips, Murdoch argued that the younger generation — in Europe, America, wherever — is both watching TV and using their computers at the same time. They’re also eating, Web surfing, doing their homework and chatting simultaneously, and are highly engaged and quite willing to interact with high quality, involving content, Murdoch said.

Moreover, and this was one of the keys of her keynote, they are also increasingly willing to pay for premium experiences. She pointed to some of the experiments with social gaming as in Pet Society and Farmville as experiences that provide for a paid tier. …


OK, leave aside that last bit about Pet Society and Farmville (ugh, the scourge of Facebook?) but Ms Murdoch has a point. And the stats and self-interest to back it up, I’m sure.

Media has to UP its game — and not by trying/pretending to be ‘best friends’ [or with silly polls like “Is the iPad overhyped?” puh-leeeze. Whose fault is it if it is?).

From where I sit, Media/publishing is still a broadcast source, although, as Ms Murdoch says, the broadcast model is broken. Most advertising = interruption marketing vs permission marketing, to quote Seth Godin.

The Internet 2.0 revolution “user-generated content”, while a real blast, and great for sharing info for specialised interests, does not always equal reliable, trustworthy content (tweets about Burmese soldiers repressing civil unrest, or ‘there’s been a biq earthquake’ aside). And the internet does have a tendency to turn every idiot with a megaphone into a ‘commentator’ or ‘analyst’ — what are you looking at? — but that must, surely, shake down.

I think that trend is starting, but the freak show effect and appeals to the lowest common denominator will always be persuasive. Even quite respected media indulge in the equivalent of page 3 girls, ghoulish crime stories, and ‘celebrity news’ to try to attract eyeballs.

To stay relevant, Media has to see itself as a ‘source’ but ALSO find a way to send wanted, self-selected content to their audience, subscribers, etc.
Murdoch is on to it: It’s about “how people are now actually consuming content of all kinds.”

The always-on, always-connected world means a truckload more NOISE
… but that’s how it seems the ‘consumers’ want it
… because they can filter it out very quickly –Yes/No/Later — incredibly quickly.

(Let’s talk about attention span another time.)