Professor John M. McCann
Fuqua School of Business
Last update: April 4, 1996
This class session focuses on the key trends described in my Digital Media CyberTrends Web document. A brief outline is shown below, with links to sections of the CyberTrends documents.
We are witnessing the demise of old media and the rise of new media ... not the total destruction of any of the old media, but a decline in their importance as newer forms and/or entirely new types of media are enabled by the technology and deployed by entrepreneurs, including people working inside the old media.
- Our source for exploring the demise of television is George Gilder's book Life After Television. Gilder does not mince words when expressing his view of the foolishness of following the old TV crowd and the wisdom of following the PC enthusiasts:
It is companies that shun the PC of today in order to cater to the TV, consumer electronics and telephone industries that will end up in luxury backwaters. They will resemble the companies that catered to the mainframe trade early in this decade, or those that catered to the horse business early in this century. They may find exotic or intriguing niches. Yet just as the real action was not at Churchill Downs or the Peapack Hunt Club but in Detroit, the real action today--the source of wealth and power--is not at Nintendo or Sega, Hollywood or QVC. It is in the scores of thousands of computer and software companies that make up the industrial fabric of the Information Age--the exhilarating new life after television." (LIFE AFTER TELEVISION, UPDATED, first published in Forbes ASAP, February 23, 1994; this passage is the last paragraph in the article)
- Gilder wrote these words at a time when a lot of money was being thrown at the television-oriented vision of the Information Superhighway. Time has proven Gilder to be right: the video-on-demand trials have not succeeded and the PC has become the center of attention in the form of the World Wide Web-oriented Internet TV. A recent special section of the Wall Street Journal contains an article that discussion of why the Web has replaced interactive TV as the center of attention.
- An upcoming marriage of traditional analog television broadcast with the Web is being provided via a new technology, Intercast, and a consortium of companies: the Intercast Industry Group. This vision is that we will watch TV on our PC, and that Web pages will be sent to us along with the corresponding television images.
- Another vision of the new TV is that it will be searchable and browsable.
- These visions involve the development of a new kind of computer, a teleputer, that includes the traditional TV as part of the computer. This teleputer will be hooked to a broadband internet.
- Most people seem to view the Internet as a new medium that is similar to the old in the sense that it is a mass medium in which a few organizations prepare material that is viewed and interacted with by the masses. But there are others who see it as not a broadcast medium but as a two-way medium ... a many-to-many medium.
- Newspapers are forecasted to undergo the dual demise of the printed form and the rise of the electronic form, such as the Chicago Tribute, New York Times, and dozens of other newspapers.
- Printed books are also in for a change.
- We are likely to witness the rise of electronic magazines, as evidenced by publications such as Wired, the Time/Life magazines, and dozens of others.
- Radio is coming to the net in a big way, aided by technologies such as RealAudio and Netscape LiveMedia, a standards-based framework for bringing real-time audio and video to the Netscape open software platform.