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June 9, 2006 / Toby Dayton

Mark Cuban Hates Newspapers

Love him or hate him, Mark Cuban’s open hostility towards daily newspapers is an entertaining read (A Quick Letter To The Newspaper And Magazine Industries), and dead on the mark. Newspaper monopolists that refuse to adapt their business models will die either a slow or rapid death, depending on whom you ask, but death is certain. Mark’s wrath about the prices daily papers charge for their entertainment advertising is just another example of animosity and loathing that daily newspapers foster among their customer base.

A Quick Letter To The Newspaper and Magazine Industries:

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the Newspaper and Magazine businesses lately. Not because I want to buy a company in either industry. I don’t.

I’m spending the time because I’m looking for the best possible ways to promote the movies we distribute and HDNet programming.

It’s expensive to advertise movies or TV shows in either newspapers or magazines. Very expensive. Where entertainment is traditionally advertised, you guys know you got us, and it shows in your pricing. The pricing in the Movie and TV sections of print media is outrageous.

Which means that every single company in the entertainment business is looking for a way to never ever have to spend a nickel with you again. Our entire business knows we have to spend money with you now, but we are experimenting with every option possible to pull that money from you and spend it elsewhere.

Each of us is looking for the holy grail of promotion: a way to leave you as a customer.

How scary is that? A huge customer of your industry would prefer not to do business with you.

So the Print industry has two choices. You can be proactive or reactive. You can watch movie and TV ads go the way of your classifieds, or you can create a price point or programs that take money away from the net and other media.

I have no problem telling you that the internet is not any better than print. Sure, the net has the unique quality that a consumer can click on an ad and within a few clicks actually buy a ticket to a movie, or a DVD. That’s a huge advantage, but its not insurmountable.

The newspapers have unique qualities as well. Bigger works better in print than online. Localization is still stronger, among other things. But if you don’t start to recognize the problem and proactively create programs that make you DEMONSTRATIVELY more cost effective and impactful than other mediums, you will lose, and lose big. I’m guessing this wouldn’t be a good time for this to happen in your industries.

So it’s time to buck up. You either squeeze what you can and cry when it happens, or you step up and create cost effective alternatives. The days of a movie review and the ad for the movie won’t cut it for much longer.

So those of you in the entertainment sections and sales groups of newspapers and magazines have two choices, come up with new ideas, or a new version of your resume…

[tags]Mark Cuban, HDNet, HDTV, Dallas Mavericks, Broadcast.com, Death of Newspapers, Ideas For Newspapers, Newspapers Are Failing[/tags]