The Future of the News Business: Startup Week Boulder
Wednesday At 3:00 in Trident Coffee Shop (the oldest coffee shop in Boulder) Ben Markus, Steve Outing, Matt Sebastian, and Andrew Baron presented The Future of the News Business for Startup Week Boulder. They spoke in front of an audience about their current, and future vision of the news as a business, and so far from their point of view, the future looks grim for just about everybody… Except the radio. Fricken radio. Ben Markus is an author. Steve Outing is a web news consultant. Matt Sebastian is a News editor at the Daily Camera. Andrew Cohn produced Rocketboom.
It should be pointed out that none of the members of this panel are from the business side of news so their views are biased. There was no representation from TV news either.
One of their strongest selling points about the impending doom of modern print news industry, is the way they make money. Most of the money for print newspapers still comes from the paper version of their product. They said most people get their information from the internet. This is heavily disputed by statistical numbers which show millions are still watching broadcast news.
News still rely on the add banners and subscriptions for their revenue stream. As print papers become less relevant, revenue streams are drying up for the printed newspaper, and the future of written news stands on shaky ground.
Ben Markus however told us that radio news, (a.m. f.m. outlets) are experiencing a boom. Perhaps it is because of more traffic, construction, and less newspaper attention, but viewership for radio has been up. The main concern Ben had to voice was the future of how people find entertainment in their car. With manufacturers producing more and more mobile friendly audio systems, a drop in the audience of radio news stations could happen rapidly, and be pushed towards podcasts and other audio app entertainment.
Another interesting feature of the talk was everything being live streamed using an app called Meerkat. This wasn’t a paid thing, but future potential is huge. Though live streaming without any production value can be sketchy. Justin TV was a huge live streaming company but wet broke and moved into paid online gaming. Ustream and Youtube also use live streaming but neither are profitable.
What was not discussed were the successes of companies like Channel 1 Network and Boulder Channel 1 who thrive in the current atmosphere. C1N.TV says it has solved the news problem by creating local news outlets all over the world which are self sustaining.
Facebook , just this week , signed 10 major news organisations for embedded news. Facebook is a multi-billion dollar company which has the ability to prop the news industry.
TV and Cable news were left out of this discussion entirely. TV is still king by many accounts. The question is how will news media shake out in the coming years and what will be the platforms. Who will pay the reporters.
George Hardwick is blogging for Boulder Channel 1 from Boulder Startup Week invite him to partiesFollow Register | Login | News Feed