GovernanceNow just published some excerpts of an interview with me, recorded during the Big Picture Summit in Delhi 2 weeks ago. Despite the kind of dramatic header (I did not quite put it like that :), this is a good piece. Check it out here, excerpts below.
“In India the conventional media, especially print, is still growing well, but media futurist Gerd Leonhard has a word of caution for this sector. He says India may face the Brazilian situation tomorrow. The South American country was also witnessing the same story until last year when the middle class switched to new media such as the internet and newspapers became obsolete…. there is the convergence of the television and the internet; they are becoming the same thing. Mobile devices are taking over from computers. So there are five billion people connected to the internet, using mobile devices. Social media is already very active. The users themselves make the media. I think we will see a lot of bundling of telecom and media, the convergence of telecom and media, artificial intelligence for data mining for marketing, as we already see with Google Tools. So technology will be completely invisible. You can speak to your phone and ask for directions. Automatic translation is a major trend.
But the business model of print is broken. Because 20 years ago, if you didn’t have a paper, you could not read the news. It’s not that people don’t want print, they do because it is a special experience. I think that will eventually happen. But the business model is breaking down, because it was a monopoly of attention. So if you had The New Yorker magazine, you could sell the [advertiser] for $100,000 a page. Because you have the user’s right. But now I have 50 magazines, digital. So now the price goes down to $5,000 a page.
The government needs to make sure that everybody gets connected, which, I think, they are working on. And the faster people get connected, the less they are going to use the traditional media. And that is why the media companies are not so happy about people connecting. So basically my estimation for India would be three to five years, depending on where exactly [in terms of rural/urban locations]… what we are seeing in the first part of the internet is that everybody wants everything for free, because it’s there. And when everything becomes free, everything becomes available; then we become completely overloaded. We have everything that is free but we can’t use any of it because it is so noisy. Then we go back to a model where we say that we’d rather pay for it and make it a little better. And that is where we need the journalists, the writers and the broadcasters – to make it better for us. The reason that I pay them is that I get something better… It is the convergence of broadband and broadcast. And this is very powerful because for media companies, it is much cheaper. It’s much quicker, it’s much more real time. But they have to get used to the fact that they are not the only ones who own it…” Read the whole thing.
Here is my presentation from the Big Picture Summit.
Pretty funny newspaper clipping about this gig, below:)