Is Old Media Really Dead?

There’s no doubt about the fact that traditional media has become an overabundance of programming on niche channels, all with far lower ratings than were standard when there were just 3 major network outlets and PBS on your TV. And there’s no doubt that the rise of YouTube and VOD and new media based programming is the darling of the news outlets.

But does that mean that new media is our future, and old media is dead? Not so fast.

In a really great blog post on another sector of the old-media/new-media battlefield, the book sector, Tim Ferris (author of The 4 Hour Work Week, a great book) takes a hard look at yet another pronouncement that old media is dead:

Ferris writes about Seth Godin, a guy I’ve known since before he became a legend and a font of new media quotes. Godin’s got a dozen physical best sellers under his belt (kind of like a producer with a number of network TV series wins or studio film releases), and he’s decided that printed books are as dead as the trees that make their paper. Further, he’s giving up on printed books entirely and only going to be publishing the new media route – with bits, not atoms.

Tim Ferris has a HUGE bestseller in 4HWW – and as he points out, as the NUMBER ONE book under the business category for the Kindle, digital sales of 4HWW only about to a percent or so of his total sales. For Ferris, it’s a bit early to declare the physical book dead.

Bear this in mind the next time you hear some digital blowhard (like me) pontificate on how broadcast television is dead, and new media is where the cool kids are placing their bets. It may happen someday, but that someday isn’t today – or tomorrow, or anytime in the next couple of years.

And you can quote me on that.

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