The media industry, in general, is in a state of fear. Everything is going digital so quickly, and some are slower than others to adapt. They've been doing what they've been doing for so long, they're being left in the dust, scratching their heads, wondering what happened and why. People are choosing to get their news online rather than paying for newspaper or magazine subscriptions. Many people are opting to watch their favorite shows on the network's website or through Hulu. Patrons are opting for watching movies On Demand or through Netflix instead of spending their money at the theater. Mass media has suddenly (to them) evolved into new media.
The problem with a lot of these companies that are left wondering "WTF?" is that many of the people in charge aren't keeping up with the times. They're in their routine and don't do well with change. Now they're sitting around reminiscing about the glory days, before all these meddling kids got involved in this tech boom. There's several solutions to these concens:
- Stop recruiting college grads for 9 month unpaid internships while you reap the benefits for their hard work. Didn't you hear that's illegal?
- Stop giving all of these new media positions to people with a Bachelor's degree and 10 years experience in traditional media; those people who are "qualified" and the ones you desire are two different groups.
- Stop giving your content away for free online if you're selling the same content on the streets. How does that sound smart to anyone on your team?
- Stop trying to force feed your audience poor quality content (yes, I'm talking to you content farms).
- Stop giving jobs to people because you owe someone a favor. In essence, stop wasting people's time.
- Stop doing movies in 3D! This is just an example (I'm really asking you to stop though), but really, stop overdoing trends.
So I've told you all the things you should stop doing. Here are some things you should try doing.
- Try paying people for what they're worth; if they're increasing your revenue in any way, you should be fattening their wallets as well. Can't afford it? Find another way; overworked/underpaid interns is not the answer.
- Try hiring people with relevant experience. Face it; digital media is more of a younger person's playing field than your 40 something year old fraternity brother's cousin. 10 years of experience? Be serious and realistic with yourself. No one was talking about this stuff 10 years ago except for us nerds (me included).
- Try a freemium way of life. Consider linking the real world with the virtual world. Offer free digital content if someone purchases your hard copy or vice versa. Reward those who support you financially.
- Try finding people who can produce high quality content. If you want a bunch of content coming out quick, fast, and in a hurry, you're better off hiring more people who are coming up with good stuff. Seriously, who needs a how-to guide on having a good time at a strip club?
- Try to do an actual job search where you go through the interview process fairly.
- Try caring about you company's reputation (really Touchstone? Step Up 3D?)
What I'm trying to say, in so many words, is that young people have ideas that can be wildly successful. We're starting businesses in our dorm rooms because you didn't want to give us a shot, and now you want to buy us out. With a few changes, you can reign supreme once again.Image via Wikipedia