Fairfax Media and News Corp news websites will both be bankrupt in 12 to 24 months if predictions on the ABC’s Media Watch Monday show are true. The predictions are backed up by hard financial evidence and the opinion of numerous well informed people within the media industry. What was also telling was the refusal of both Fairfax Media and News Corp to give interviews for the show.
If the Fairfax and News Corp websites go their papers will follow soon after and other websites such as Yahoo7 and Ninemsm probably won’t be far behind in closing. We all knew the dynamics of media was changing it is just how fast and to what extent that is surprising and social media such as Facebook is a major factor.
It’s a big call by the Media Watch show but all they did was state the obvious based on the evidence which everyone else has been avoiding. The newspapers are dying because of the loss of advertising revenue but now it is obvious that many news websites will be gone very soon as well for the same loss of revenue.
The major piece of evidence of the imminent demise of the two online media power houses was that in the last 12 months Google and Facebook and have increased their combined online advertising revenue in Australia by $1 billion. At the same time other online advertising in Australia has decreased by $700 million in the last 12 months. Fairfax Media and News Corp would have been the biggest losers in $700 million decrease in advertising and are in massive trouble if the pattern continues. And most industry experts on the show expect the pattern will continue.
The biggest reason for this is globalisation via the internet as internet giants like Google and Facebook muscle in on the Australian advertising market which has historically underpinned Australian media companies such as Fairfax Media and News Corp.
The Media Watch show is below and runs for 16 minutes and really is a must watch given the rise of social media means we are all part of the media game now and so should take an interest in where the media ios going. It also gives a good insight into the immediate future of Australian media.
Kangaroo Court of Australia and the future
The business model of the major online news media players is failing and what the ultimate business model will be no one knows. I have no doubt that there will be opportunities for small niche players like this website to grow substantially and it needs to grow to achieve what I would like it to.
While this website isn’t huge it has a lot of potential and is heading in the right direction and needs to so it can help fill the void when the mainstream papers and/or websites fail. For example if you have a look over the last three months I have had individual articles that have been liked on Facebook over 6000 times in March, 3000 times April and 3000 times in May and numerous other articles liked over 1000 times. These numbers would be good on the mainstream sites but are extremely good since they are coming off a base of 3084 email followers for this website and 1004 followers of the relatively new Facebook page. If some of those articles had of been published on the mainstream sites they would have been liked 10, 20 or 30,000 times which even the mainstream media sites rarely do with their own articles.
So the plan for this website is to hang in there the same as everyone else in media is doing and keep growing until change comes and hopefully opportunities will arise. It is now looking like that the change will happen sooner rather than later.
Based on the Media Watch show I have no doubt that Fairfax Media and News Corp and others are facing the perfect storm as the show says and it is impossible to see them all lasting for much longer. This is where it becomes important for myself and this website and others like it to fill the void that will be left in keeping politicians, governments and business etc accountable.
Some will argue that the fast approaching media shake-up is not a bad thing as the mainstream media have failed democracy anyhow and it is time for other media players to grow and replace the old guard. I agree but the transition will not be easy although it should ultimately give greater empowerment to the public.
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