Don't get too comfortable with recently lowered forecasts for consumer and advertiser spending in 2008 and 2009--being used by media companies to plan budgets. They are likely to go down. Bottom line: The six- to-18-month outlook is dismal for industries dependent upon advertiser and consumer spending.
Mandating, executing and sustaining innovation is a self-determined solution to the overwhelming financial meltdown. It must not be underestimated by media, entertainment and Internet companies, which should be integrating the innovation process into every level of their 2009 corporate budgets.
NBCU's ability to deliver growing profits to GE is largely dependent on quadrennial presidential elections and Olympics boosts. NBCU's fiscal vulnerability is obvious: It is expected to deliver nearly flat $3.1 billion in operating profits on $17.8 billion in sales in 2008. It also has one of the lowest average five-year growth rates through 2009.
The financial implosion occurring on Wall Street will hit Madison Avenue by 2009 with a force that will take down some media companies and prompt many to seek financial relief in digital interactive solutions. It will be media's first painful step toward securing its future.
The mass audience reached by the Big 4 broadcast networks will be eroded by general entertainment cable networks in less than five years, when rivals seize more of their triple advertising dollar, pricing and viewer edge. That isn't a guess, according to Bernstein Research--it's a mathematical certainty.
The multichannel wars were hardly in evidence last week as cable, satellite and telco executives put their best face on a competitive sparring exacerbated by the economy. The question remains: which arena will dominate the broadband landscape when the dust settles?
The ability to create new business pursuits and models from whole digital interactive cloth is a lifesaving imperative. Media-related companies have a unique opportunity to mitigate risk and stimulate growth. They can do this by integrating and using digital technology to better monetize their existing assets and mine new ways to connect consumers, content and commerce.
As powerful corporations with big problems and little recourse are plummeting from grace, it's only natural to think about newer powerhouses, such as Google, hell-bent on controlling the world and all its information. There are fine lines between delusions of grandeur allowed to rise or fall in a free market and the forces of regulation that can make or break fortunes.
Broadcast and newspapers with enterprising local Web sites are sitting on beachfront property. It will be their ticket out of the economic recession and the decline in their traditional core business.
The historic restructuring of debt and financial players on Wall Street will continue to have an arresting impact on Main Street, as well as on media-related companies dependent on advertiser and consumer spending in a troubled economy.