Newspapers are missing out on $300 million in national online advertising, according to Clark G. Gilbert of the Harvard Business School. From E&P:
“Newspapers are exhibiting the classic symptoms of an industry faced with disruptive technology,” said Borrell Associates CEO Gordon Borrell in a statement. “They’ve invested in Web sites, sometimes heavily, but they have remained dangerously over-reliant on their traditional customers. The disruptive technology of the Internet opens up new classes of potential customers that newspapers must pursue.”
The recommended tactics — “tap into the power of the Web as a medium”, focus on banner ads and email notifications on classifieds, invest in databases, create online ad staffs, and sell localization to national advertisers — sound awfully familiar.
If I understand the notion of disruptive technology expressed in The Innovator’s Dilemma, more than this is needed. Online newspapers need a new charter of independence from the print edition, and a mission to put the print edition out of business, if they’re going to succeed.
It’s clear how the Net disrupts newspapers, but how can newspapers use the Net to disrupt other businesses?