What’s the commodity?

For over a year now, we’ve been labeling newspapers, and magazines as a commodity. As the marketplace for newspapers, and magazines dries up, and the way in which we deliver news has changed. I have to wonder what the commodity really is? Is it the material used to print newspapers, or is it the way in which news is delivered; or both!

The Washington post has been reported to be down 8% in revenue in the first quarter of 2012. Print advertising was also recorded to have taken a 17% loss, and the companies digital advertising dropping 7%. Although these numbers are shocking, and concerning for those involved. It was the 7% loss in digital advertising that caught my attention…

The idea, or solution to falling readership from digital experts was to think outside the box, and rather obviously transfer your usual printed stories to some form of digital media. Many did just that, and opted for the social reader application that would allow stories to be shared via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

Is this working? Certainly from the Washington post perspective, it’s not looking great. Their first recordings of figures in this market showed a healthy 14 million monthly average users, which rose within three days to over 17 million. However, figures collected by AppData.com reported the number of monthly average users had fallen to under 10 million yesterday.

Whether these fluctuating numbers flow out of a shift in materials, and will sort itself out, or not. I can’t help, but wonder what the commodity really is? There are endless amounts of information, and choice made available to us today.

Is this just another nail in the box of mass media, mass marketing, mass anything?  What do you think? Join the conversation here.

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