Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The New Media Paradigm Strikes Back

I have not hidden the fact that I am a fan of professional wrestling. Yes, I know it is predetermined and scripted. When done right it is fun. I am not current with the WWE or TNA at the moment. I miss my WWE on demand subscription. The reason I miss it is all of their retrospective programming on the older events and performers. Right now I prefer going back. The newer personalities are not doing it for me. WWE finally launched their Network. They could not convince the cable companies to sign on.  So they did the next best thing. They launched it as a streaming channel and an on demand service via the internet, game consoles, Tablets, Internet streaming devices (ROKU and Apple TV) and so on. Here is the kicker if you agree pay for 6 months of service you get Pay-Per- Views Live streaming. What are they charging? 9.99 a month. That seems a lot. However this includes their entire library from the late 40's to the present. All of the collected libraries from WCW, ECW, WCCW, AWA, FCW, Jim Crockett Promotions (NWA from the 70's to 80's) and more. That means they have over 60 years of Professional Wrestling History to play with. They own it. Unlike Netflix no licensing fees. Even if you are not a fan of the present iteration of WWE, there still could be programming that would interest you. If I had it I would get it. That is just me.  The new pay-per-view model with WWE Network so far has led to one content provider, Dish Network, refusing to carry any WWE pay-pre-views.  DirecTV has grumbled about following suit.  Other providers are going to wait month to month to see how things work out. 

WWE a major media corporation just entered the New Media Paradigm.  Vincent K. McMahon has been trying to create a WWE channel for over a decade.  Other larger Media Corporations have made money off of him.  They also refused to let him play.  In the early eighties when he gained control of his company then the World Wide Wrestling Federation he wished to do things against convention.  During that time Wrestling Promotions were regional and you did not set up shop in a region without permission of the head of the region.  Vincent K. McMahon wished to go national.  He got shows on cable and started selling shows to various television markets.  When he was told no, he did it anyway or found a way around it.  He has done that again, this time with going streaming and on demand with content. 

The cable companies are still clinging to the old paradigm and they are losing ground.  There is a movement of cable cutters; they use the internet to access film and television.  The Cable companies then make agreements with content providers, Television Networks, Cable Networks and other Media Corporations, that force the need of a cable or satellite provider to access the content on the internet.  There is a demand for a la carte cable and satellite services.  There is also a demand for those without cable or satellite to pay for a subscription for internet access to content.  These corporations are refusing to do so and losing money to make their business partners happy.  Vincent. K. McMahon is tired of waiting for them.  I may not have agreed with many of his tactics, but this one makes absolute sense.

Music companies are also making huge mistakes by not signing acts that challenge conventional thinking in style and genre.  These acts are taking their work directly to the people through iTunes, Amazon and other internet music services.  Steam Powered Giraffe would have been ignored by the old media paradigm.  In fact they combine, street performance, Mime, theatre with folk and pop music.  They are gaining quite a following producing and selling their work through the internet music outlets.  Lindsay Sterling, The Piano Guys, Peter Hollens, Pentatonix, Street Corner Renaissance, Adam WarRock, The Doubleclicks and many more are doing the same thing.  Corporate media companies are losing ground in a serious way.  They are also losing the ability to be taste makers.  Due to the global nature of the internet, acts that had limited access to other parts of the world are going viral.  Gotye and PSY are evidence of this.  

Old school book publishers are struggling too.  Independent publishers and are gaining serious ground in this new electronic system.  In the past publishers took on internet savvy writers known for self-publishing assuming they did not have to put a dime into promotion.  That was a mistake.  Amazon is not repeating it.  They have scooped up some of those authors the traditional publishers let go.  Others went back to their roots of self-publishing.  They are succeeding selling their works through various e-pub sites.  Comics Books have gotten into the mix too.  ComiXology and DriveThruComics are working with Indie Publishers and Self-Publishers to gain new access.  Recently Amazon bought ComiXology.  This will work, because more options for sales does the company well monetarily.  DC and Marvel unlike their counterparts in Traditional Publishing are getting into the act.  They have digital first comics titles that are published online months prior to print.   

All of these changes have made me hopeful for the Evolution of Media into the New Media Paradigm.  There still will be those with a vested interest in the old paradigm kicking and screaming themselves into irrelevance.  That Is My Not So Humble Opinion.

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