Adding trend lines to the fragmentation and disintermediation of media forces us to consider that the local media company of tomorrow will be vastly different than the radio station, television station or newspaper of today.
Long-term prosperity for tomorrow begins with the assumption that we will be more than we are today. This is step one in the transformation from a single entity with one core competency to a vibrant local media company with a portfolio of properties and multiple business models.
This vision of tomorrow is what drives AR&D's Simulpath™ strategy, the following of two separate paths on the road to profitability.
Path one includes a host of tactics designed to extend our existing brand into the world of cyberspace.
Path two moves us directly into the disruption that is attacking our core.
Necessarily, we put more resources into path one today, but as our dual path efforts mature, resources will naturally swing to path two.
This is because path two is the road of growth. It plays by different rules, but it's only confusing if we make no effort to understand its core business tenets.
So it's important we look at where we're headed in order to accommodate this inevitable switch, for the profitable local media company of tomorrow will be one that necessarily attacks the inefficiencies of the mass marketing model that drives path one.
Broadcasting isn’t the only industry that’s had to face this uncomfortable reality. IBM was the mainframe computer company when the personal computer came along. Kodak thought it was in the film business until digital photography blew away its core competency. IBM found the courage to compete with itself and blossomed in the PC market. Kodak fought the change, and it nearly cost them everything.
Of course, the mass-marketing model of our Media 1.0 business will always have an audience, but it’s a mature business now. And as we look at the parallel path of Media 2.0, it’s clear there will ultimately be competition between the two for ad dollars.
So when we say that we need to move "into the disruption," we're saying we need to find the courage to compete with ourselves in very real ways. In this way, we become the disruption and can conduct ourselves on the same playing field as the internet pureplays who are after our revenue in ways we don't even yet see.