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More Leadership From The Washington Post
The Washington Post announced today that it was going to be producing its video podcasts in high definition. The announcement, I would guess, comes primarily in response to the release of Apple TV and the ability it affords to watch video podcasts on TVs. While much of the world may not be regular consumers of podcasts, not to mention watching them on TV (I’m not even doing that yet and I’m a podcast junkie, a gadget freak, and an Apple fanatic), the Washington Post is continuing to keep pace with new technologies, formats, and consumer trends. After decades of false starts, over-hyped announcements, and failed attempts, the web is finally inching closer and closer to the living room for the average consumer, thanks to Apple TV and Microsoft’s XBox.
As that trend gains momentum in the coming years and podcast content becomes as popular as television programming (which it absolutely will eventually), companies like the Washington Post who jumped in early, gained valuable experience, invested consistently in the space, and experimented constantly, stand the best chance of being successful when that day comes. They will have developed a variety of content, they will have built up sizable audiences, and they will have brought their advertisers along with them. Perhaps they will have developed some unique offering that establishes a leadership position in some fashion in a particular aspect of the category. And most importantly, they will have methodically and successfully extended their brand identity across a new media channel.
None of this is rocket science, and for people paying attention to the space, the trends they’re following are obvious. Apple’s technology is huge and getting bigger, podcasts are growing in popularity, HD TV is phenomenal technology, and bringing the web into the living room and onto the TV has been on everyone’s radar for at least 10 years. But how many newspaper companies are fully aware of and thoroughly believe in the opportunity, have positioned themselves in a manner to take advantage of it, and are actually moving forward and executing a strategy in an intelligent way? My guess is not many. The exact same observation can be made in almost every instance where new media, web 2.0, and disruptive technologies are dramatically altering the media and advertising landscape. And that is why so many newspaper companies are struggling to navigate through this wildly chaotic tempest.
Time to read the daily paper this morning: 8 minutes and 11 seconds.
Daily recommendation for the dailies: Start producing your own audio and video podcasts. Develop and execute as many content formats, programs, styles, and shows as you can. Experiment, learn, improve, and be persistent. In a few years, when more people are watching web-originated content on their TVs than traditional television programming, you’ll be right there among all the other winners with your own shows, a meaningful audience, advertising revenue, and a larger, more robust, and valuable brand identity.
[tags]Daily Newspapers, Apple TV, XBox, XBox Live, Microsoft, HDTV, Podcasts, Media landscape, Advertising Industry, Web 2.0, Web In The Living Room[/tags]