Now Reading | The Next Internet is TV
These words got my attention when I read this article: What was even the point of websites, certain people will find themselves wondering. Were they just weird slow apps with nobody in them? Why?
Hmm. I found it interesting to read the author’s thoughts. Here are some of the excerpts I pulled out for further consideration:
The only thing that keeps people coming back to apps in great enough numbers over time to make real money is the presence of other people. So the only apps that people use in the way publications want their readers to behave—with growing loyalty that can be turned into money—are communications services. The near-future internet puts the publishing and communications industries in competition with each other for the same confused advertising dollars, and it’s not even close.
Here is a question worth asking of any large media company, as well as an answer:
(First, a little background on Fusion. Fusion is an American digital cable and satellite television network that will be a joint venture between the Disney-ABC Television Group subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company and Univision Communications. The 24-hour news channel will be aimed at English-speaking Hispanic and Latino Americans and will combine the resources of ABC News and Noticiero Univision. Fusion will be based of a converted studio facility in the Miami suburb of Doral, Florida, which is expected to eventually house Univision’s news division.)
Disney has given Fusion a lot of money to launch. What does the company see as a successful return on that investment? Traffic goals? TV audience? Influence?I think it’s all of the above. Part of our overall mission is to be a lab for experimentation and innovation for our parent company. Univision and ABC want Fusion’s help in figuring out how to reach this incredibly dynamic, diverse, and digitally connected audience, so we’ll be investing heavily in audience development and technology and transferring knowledge to the parent company about what we learn.
Fusion is fun to think about because it exists very slightly outside the weird new Zones of Content. It isn’t an established print publication trying to revamp itself under the same name for the fifth time in fifteen years, nor is it a VC-funded company that people started paying attention to a few years ago and that’s speeding toward some sort of liquidity event. What does it want? To build “a new kind of newsroom to greet the changing demographics of America” that is also “a little bit outside of the media bubble.”
Another thing that Fusion does not have to do is decide what kind of company it is, because it is a literal extension of much larger ones that already know. For Fusion to talk about “promiscuous media” and “build[ing] our brand in the places [the audience] is spending time”—as opposed to publishing everything on a single website and hoping it spreads from there—is not strange in the context of television companies. They’re used to filling channels that they don’t totally control.
The gaps left by the websites we stop looking at will be filled with new things, and most people won’t really notice the change until it’s nearly done, because they will have been incredibly not bored. Maybe the web thrives in a new and unexpected way as it is again relegated to marginal status? Maybe it just chugs along because nothing seems to fully die on the internet anymore.