Monday, March 13, 2006

Blogging killed the TV star

The NYT challenges a blogger's arguments that recent statistics matching consumers of the vlog Rocketboom and cable TV programme viewers are a harbinger to the death of television.

ONE recent week, the video blog Rocketboom drew an average of 200,000 people a day to watch its short daily news reports on technology, the arts and other topics.

"The Abrams Report" on MSNBC, meanwhile, drew 215,000 viewers to its weekday hourlong show about legal issues.

Does this anecdote — that an unpopular cable news show and a wildly popular Web site draw similarly sized audiences — prove that the Internet is upending the economics of the television business?

Case for the prosecution:

"American Idol" draws about 30 million viewers, that MSNBC is a cable, not a broadcast, network, and that, while the music business may be wounded, it is far from dead.
"Is reaching roughly the same audience that's around for 3 minutes as valuable as reaching an audience that watches" for an hour?

Case for the defence: (including the above)

A staff of two produces "How many people do you think it takes to produce 'The Abrams Report' on MSNBC?"

Jury still out? Maybe, but I hasten to bet that blogs and other forms of citizen journalism have a looooong way to go before they're a force to be reckoned with. Sure that day will come, but it ain't now. Clever people (read, Early Adopters) in traditional media are getting in now and will reap the benefits later. They'll help to construct the interactive media landscape rather than simply consume it. Others will watch and wait, and will jump on the bandwagon later.


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