Television Is the New Television The Unexpected Triumph of Old Media in the Digital Age
"The closer the new media future gets, the further victory appears." --Michael Wolff
This is a book about what happens when the smartestpeople in the room decide something is inevitable, andyet it doesn t come to pass. What happens when omenshave been misread, tea leaves misinterpreted, gurusembarrassed?
Twenty years after the Netscape IPO, ten years afterthe birth of YouTube, and five years after the first iPad, the Internet has still not destroyed the giants of oldmedia. CBS, News Corp, Disney, Comcast, Time Warner, and their peers are still alive, kicking, and makingbig bucks. "The New York Times" still earns far more fromprint ads than from digital ads. Super Bowl commercialsare more valuable than ever. Banner ad space on Yahoocan be bought for a relative pittance.
Sure, the darlings of new media "Buzzfeed," "HuffPo," "Politico, "and many more keep attracting ever moretraffic, in some cases truly phenomenal traffic. But asMichael Wolff shows in this fascinating and sure-to-be-controversial book, their buzz and venture financingrounds are based on assumptions that were wrong fromthe start, and become more wrong with each passingyear. The consequences of this folly are far reaching foranyone who cares about good journalism, enjoys bingeingon Netflix, works with advertising, or plans to have arole in the future of the Internet.
Wolff set out to write an honest guide to the changingmedia landscape, based on a clear-eyed evaluationof who really makes money and how. His conclusion: theWeb, social media, and various mobile platforms are notthe new television. Television is the new television.
We all know that Google and Facebook are thriving byselling online ads but they re aggregators, not contentcreators. As major brands conclude that banner ads nextto text basically don t work, the value of digital traffic tocontent-driven sites has plummeted, while the value ofa television audience continues to rise. Even if millionsnow watch television on their phones via their Netflix, Hulu, and HBO GO apps, that doesn t change the balanceof power. Television by any other name is the gameeverybody is trying to win including outlets like "TheWall Street Journal"that never used to play the game at all.
Drawing on his unparalleled sources in corner officesfrom Rockefeller Center to Beverly Hills, Wolff tells uswhat s really going on, which emperors have no clothes, and which supposed geniuses are due for a major fall.Whether he riles you or makes you cheer, his book willchange how you think about media, technology, and theway we live now.
"From the Hardcover edition.""