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Convergence Is Backward Compatible

  • NY Times, Monday, January 23, 2006 10:15 AM

Sure, convergence is cool again, and the move online by traditional media companies is now well documented, but who would have thought a digital media powerhouse like Google would be making the move backwards--that is, moving back into traditional media? The New York Times surmises that Google's acquisition of radio advertising software provider dMarc Broadcasting for $1.24 billion could mean that the search giant is planning to redistribute its ads on the air, and Google is already doing something similar with various print publications. There are other examples of emerging new-media companies helping old-media models stay. One company called Decisionmark is creating software that allows satellite providers to determine which local TV signals should be made available to its regional subscribers. Under federal law, subscribers can only receive network affiliates from their region, because that network has the regional programming rights. Decionmark is able to limit geographic reach by users' IP address. However, the idea of limiting reach is contrary to what the Web is all about, making it hard to argue in favor of a technology that preserves such an old-world ideology.   

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