30 January 2006

The future of media in the internet age [International Herald Tribune]

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Given the opportunity to start a new media empire from scratch, what would be the ideal approach?

Four high-ranking media executives who were in Davos, Switzerland, during the World Economic Forum last week, shared their visions with Thomas Crampton of the International Herald Tribune.

Gerhard Florin, executive vice president and general manager of international publishing at Electronic Arts, is convinced that “media will be driven by interactive entertainment that empowers consumers”.

Michelle Guthrie, chief executive of the Asian broadcaster STAR Group, is convinced that the next-generation media empire will be built using highly localized content. Guthrie was skeptical that users would generate a large portion of the content but said audience interaction has already become an important part of content and revenue for STAR.

Shelby Bonnie, chief executive of CNET Networks, said future media empires would center more on a broad brand name than on a means of distribution. “The successful media empire of the future will regularly send their audience to the best stories by their competitors. The three-legged stool of content will be original, user-generated and aggregated.”

According to Rick Kim, head of global business at the South Korean Internet company SK Communications, the battle has already begun: “We are erecting the building blocks for the next-generation media empire”.

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