Henry Blodget (yes, that Henry) gives us a quick and dirty analysis of the “great sucking sound” drawing ad revenue away from old media and over to Google. He concludes by noting:
“Traditional media executives are doing a superb job of milking cash flow out of shrinking businesses, but you can’t save your way to prosperity. The smartest companies acknowledge this and are 1) returning cash flow to shareholders, 2) diversifying via M&A (as the Washington Post has done), and/or investing in or buying promising interactive businesses.”
I’ll add that Google isn’t solely to blame – they are just a distributor and broker – it’s everyone else producing the content. And there are plenty more ways to distribute said content popping up every day, and plenty more ways to get ads associated with it (and more joining the party each and every day as well). I’m still with the “old media content sucks” crowd, but of course those tried and true journalist types would never think to look within to find the error of their ways.
Meanwhile, Mike Masnick summarizes the hilarity: papers have gone from denial, to blame, to downright insanity; they now think Google should buy up newspapers, and then leave the editorial alone.
I sincerely believe Google is not that foolish.
BONUS: Some additional (if moderately sarcastic) commentary from Mr. Blodget on that flagging ad revenue (and why “newspapers are screwed”).