For more than a decade, Barry Diller implored InterActive Corp. shareholders to blindly support his vision. Now, he concedes, it was his curiosity about the power of interactivity--rather than a business plan--that bound the Web empire he is dismantling. Diller remains with IAC, but his legacy rides on the new bets he's underwriting.
Devising meaningful measurements that can be monetized across the media spectrum will value the new digital connections between content producers, advertisers and consumers. That struggle arguably cannot be resolved until all media--most notably television--becomes interactive. Until then, billions of ad commitments will hinge on guestimates.
The Big 4 broadcast networks' probable loss of substantial upfront ad dollars raises pressing a question: Where will as much as an estimated $1.5 billion in spending go? The broadcast networks' most formidable challenge is no longer prime-time supremacy. It is adequately pricing and recouping the ad dollars and licensing fees in the digital media spectrum.
Newspapers and the substantive journalism that has long been their hallmark are fighting for survival -- and they might just be able to help each other. Newspapers can reinforce their own value online by reinventing more of the contextual analysis and in-depth reporting that's all too scarce in the slapdash interactive marketplace.
The reconstruction of the news media in a digital interactive world is starting to look more like the destruction of journalism; the death of intellectual substance in an age of snippets.
The race to monetize and leverage the power of social networks is turning into a stampede, as evidenced by Microsoft's recently renewed efforts to acquire Facebook in the wake of its failed bid for Yahoo.
Everyone loves an underdog-makes-good story, which seems tailor-made for the new digital entertainment marketplace. Marvel Entertainment's "Iron Man" is the latest example of hit filmmaking outside the studio norm.
The issues and deficiencies that propelled Microsoft to bid for Yahoo are even more urgent after three months of futile negotiations. They will continue to spur the companies to salvage their competitive stance in social networking, online advertising and e-commerce. The consequences of doing nothing --or making a wrong move--could be dire.
Marketers are more likely than ever to connect with their target customers on interactive platforms and devices. But the effort reaches beyond new product campaigns and so-called media seasons. Correctly done, it spells a continuous payday.
All the fuss over Time Warner Cable breaking away from its corporate parent and Comcast's continuing efforts to stem basic subscriber losses pale by comparison to the industry's sleeping time bomb: the nagging absence of a wireless strategy.