Remodelling media: The urgent search for new media business models

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Media International Australia, 2010, (137), pp. 20 - 35
Issue Date:
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One of the most contentious and pressing issues concerning media in the early twenty-first century is identifying viable business models, with widespread reports that twentieth-century business models underpinning press, radio and television are collapsing because of 'audience fragmentation' driven by an ever-widening range of choice in media content and sources on the internet. Some scholars, media proprietors and content producers see announcements by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation and the New York Times that they will increasingly charge for news and other content as a harbinger of the new mediascape and a resolution to media decline. However, a number of reader surveys and industry analyses warn that many contemporary media users will not pay for content and will further abandon traditional media if 'paywalls' are erected. A number of other potential business models are being touted in business and industry circles, but remain under-researched and under-explored in scholarly literature. This article reviews scholarly studies that do exist, as well as business and industry studies and media data, to identify the range of options available for funding journalism and other media content in future. Identification of sustainable media business models is an urgent priority, as continuing decline in audiences and collapse of media organisations pose a major threat to journalism and society, with scholars agreeing that further erosion of quality journalism threatens democracy. Future media business models also have major implications for the advertising industry and a wide range of content producers.
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